A veterans pension provides financial assistance for veterans as well as their families. Two veterans pension benefit types are available to eligible beneficiaries. The first type is sometimes called an army pension, but it is more commonly referred to as a veterans pension. It provides supplemental income for veterans who are struggling financially. Veterans benefits for assisted living is another focus of this type of pension. The other type of aid for veterans is known as a survivors pension. These VA pension benefits are meant to provide assistance for the surviving spouses or any unmarried children of a deceased veteran. While these are the two primary types of VA pensions, there are some additional programs that are meant to provide aid for veterans in very specific areas.
VA pension benefits are determined on a needs-based system. To collect VA pension benefits, the veteran or his or her family must have a household income that falls below a certain maximum amount. The annual income limit varies depending on where the veteran or his or her family members reside. To receive any veterans pension benefit types, the veteran must have served for at least 90 days of active service. In addition, to get any types of VA pensions, the veteran must have served in the military for at least one day during a wartime period.
Some types of supplemental income for veterans are available for veterans who are 65 years of age or older. This aid for veterans is reserved for veterans who are permanently disabled, reside in a nursing home, receive Social Security Disability Insurance or receive some other Supplemental Security Income.
Aid for veterans families, known as the survivors pension, is a little different, since it applies to the family of the veteran as opposed to veterans themselves. This type of veterans pension is available to qualifying spouses, children and dependents of certain deceased veterans. Survivors pension eligibility for children is based on age, as well as whether or not a child attends a specific VA-approved school. Exceptions are made for any children who have a permanent disability that makes them incapable of financially supporting themselves. Both of the types of VA pensions have forms that must be filled out in order to determine eligibility. Learn more about veteran pensions in the following sections:
Learn About Pension Programs
Veterans aid pension programs are available in two primary forms. The first, veterans pension benefits, are meant to help low-income veterans who are experiencing financial difficulties. The second, veteran survivors pensions, offer financial assistance to the family members of a deceased veteran.
Learn About Pension Requirements
Veterans aid and assistance qualifications are divided into two main categories. Eligibility requirements for a living veteran who is applying for his or her pension are not exactly the same as eligibility requirements for surviving family members who are trying to apply for a survivors pension. However, the VA pension eligibility guidelines for both groups share some similar requirements. Both have veterans benefits minimum service requirements as well as veterans aid and assistance qualifications.
How to Apply for Pension Benefits
When veterans apply for VA pension benefits, they must submit additional information along with the basic application. The basic VA forms require a considerable amount of information regarding past military service and financial assets, but there are also additional forms that require even more documentation. The Aid and Attendance form, for example, requires more medical information than the basic VA forms used to set up pension benefits. However, the VA forms can be easily completed and submitted once the applicant has the right information.
Learn About Pension Appeals
The VA pension appeal process can be complicated because it is a system that involves multiple steps. VA pension appeals go through a process known as an open record system, which allows veterans to submit additional evidence at any point during the VA pension benefits appeal, instead of just at the very beginning. Consequently, the VA pension appeal process can take a long time, since it is very likely the VA will have to go over additional evidence as it is submitted. The VA disability pension appeal process is the same as the normal VA pension benefits appeal process.