VA Disability Pension

VA Non Service Connected Pension
HouseBound/Aid and Attendance Benefits

VA Pension, also commonly referred to as Aid and Attendance is an income based, asset driven monetary benefit for war era veterans.  Higher rates of VA Pension is available if the veteran qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance based on the claimants needs for assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, medication management etc). 

  While many veterans applying for VA Pension/Aid and attendance are living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities etc. or are receiving in home care with their activities of daily living, this is not necessarily a requirement of the VA Pension program.  As mentioned above it is an income based and asset driven benefit for war era veterans.

 It is highly recommended that you seek assistance from a county benefits counselor when apply for VA Pension/Aid and Attendance benefits.  There is no charge for their assistance.  In Ingham and Clinton County call (517) 887-4331 to schedule an appointment.  This is a service of Ingham County Department of Veteran Affairs.

 There are five criteria that a veteran must meet for eligibility for VA Pension benefits:

1)   Discharged under other than dishonorable conditions 

2)   Active service that includes a total of ninety days during one or more periods of war; ninety or more consecutive days, one of which is during a period of war; or at least one day of wartime service that results in a discharge for a service connected disability.  For those veterans that enlisted in the military service for the first time on or after September 8, 1980, they must complete a minimum period of service, either twenty-four months of continuous active duty or the full period for which the veteran was called or ordered to active duty.

3)   The veteran must have limited income and a net worth that does not provide adequate maintenance based on VA Means Test standards.

4)   The veteran must be permanently and totally disabled at the time of application.  A veteran that is incapable of gainful employment due to physical or mental disabilities is considered total and permanently disabled.  A veteran that is 65 years of age is considered permanently and totally disabled for VA Pension purposes.

5)   The permanent and total disability must not be due to willful misconduct of the veteran.

War time service is defined by federal law.  The veteran does not have to have served in combat, but only during a period of time that is defined as war time service.

Period of Service

Beginning Date

Ending Date

World War I1

April 5, 1917

November 11, 1918

World War II2

December 7, 1941

December 31, 1946

Korean War

June 27, 1950

January 31, 1955

Vietnam War3

August 5, 1964

May 7, 1975

Persian Gulf War

August 2, 1990

TBD

1Service after November 11, 1918, and before July 2, 1921 qualifies as wartime service if the veteran had any active service from April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918.

2Extended to July 25, 1947 if continuous with active duty on or before December 31, 1946.

3February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 for a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.

Questions on VA Pension/Aid and Attendance

If a claimant is unable to sign an application they can place their X or a thumb print on the application and have two witnesses print their name and sign.  If someone other than the claimant signs the application this will cause the application to be returned unprocessed.

Once an application for benefits has been submitted to VA, it is important to update your information including any changes of address, level of care, income, or cost of care.  If you have your nursing home care paid for by Medicaid, VA rules limit the amount a claimant can be paid to $90 per month.

VA will make a determination on each application on whether the claimant has enough assets to pay living expenses for a reasonable period of time.  The rule of thumb on assets in $80 thousand dollars however each application will be reviewed.  The principle residence is not considered an asset.