Are you a wartime veteran of the US Military? Are you married to a wartime vet? During a recent experience at a VA Hospital, among the piles of paperwork my husband and I were handed was a small packet that explained a little-known benefit.
It is a VA Pension offered to wartime veterans by providing supplemental income to help them cope with financial challenges. (This is not to be confused with the 20-year Military Pension).
According to their website, VA’s pension program provides monthly benefit payments to certain wartime Veterans with financial need, and their survivors.
Who are eligible veterans?
A few of the requirements include the following:
You were discharged from service under other than ‘dishonorable conditions AND you served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of wartime. Click here for additional eligibility requirements.
It is a small pension for qualified vets and their spouses who are over 65 or have a non-service connected disability. It works like a ‘safety-net’ to provide veterans with a minimum amount of monthly income.
According to the website, to qualify, your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit. If eligible, your pension benefit is the difference between your “countable” income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. VA generally pays this difference in 12 equal monthly payments.
There is also an enhanced or special pension to help if the person is housebound or requires an aide or attendant. The VA website contains information about qualifications along with a video explaining the VA Pension: Enhanced Pension Benefits.
The ‘Aid and Attendant’ feature would have been helpful to know back when my Dad, who was a veteran of the Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955) became housebound for several years prior to his passing. Then, my Mama who was suffering from dementia needed to live with my sister and then my husband and myself.
Apply for Veterans Pension
To find out if you are eligible, You can apply for Veterans Pension online or download and complete VA Form 21P-527EZ. The application can be mailed in or taken to your local VA Benefits Office for processing. You can locate your local regional benefit office using the VA Facility Locator.
If you think you might meet the requirements, you should apply today. Don’t let another day go by without receiving everything you or your spouse has earned by serving their country. If you don’t qualify, be sure to pass this information along to anyone you know who might.
One more thing. There are a lot of scammers out there. Don’t be a victim! Be aware of pension poaching scams. Click here to learn how to keep yourself safe.
Has your world been touched by dementia? Or, are you a caregiver? My recent book, “Finishing Well: Finding Joy in the Journey”, is a collection of stories and tips about doing life with my Mama. May it encourage and inspire you to find the joy in your own, unique journey. Find our group on Facebook