Non-Service Connected PENSION (Veteran or Surviving Spouse)

Pension benefits serve as our Nation’s safety-net for war-time era veterans.  To qualify, a veteran must have served during a recognized period of war and meet income and asset eligibility tests.  If the veteran is under 65, he or she must have health conditions which prevent employment.  This disability requirement is waived for veterans over 65; they only must meet the economic tests (income after out-of-pocket medical expenses).

There are three levels of Pension benefits based on the health and care needs of the applicant.  These levels are:  Basic Pension, Pension with Housebound Benefits (claimant is substantially confined to home) and Pension with Aid and Attendance (claimant is blind, a patient in a Nursing Home, or requires regular assistance meeting their daily needs).  Each level corresponds to a maximum benefit available.

Once a veteran is determined eligible for Pension benefits, the VA provides free medical care and non-VA medical expenses (including those of the spouse) may be partially reimbursed.  For surviving spouses receiving Pension, VA care is NOT available, but partial reimbursement for medical expenses is available.  Pension recipients must keep VA apprised of any changes to their income or medical expenses.

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