Improved Pension became effective January 1, 1979. It is available to wartime veterans who are totally and permanently disabled from disabilities not related with their service. Disability ratings may be authorized for congenital, developmental, hereditary or familial conditions. The permanence of the disability will be found when the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person. To qualify for this benefit a veteran must have had 90 days or more of active military service, one day of which was served during a period of war. There are specific criteria that must be met to qualify for pension. Your character of service, disability rating, household income, and assets are factors used in determining eligibility and your monthly monetary rate. Un-reimbursed medical expenses can be applied to reduce your household income to meet the guidelines.
Pension Wartime Service Dates
May 9, 1916 - Apr 5, 1917
1 or more days in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or adjacent waters
World War I
Apr 6, 1917 - Nov 11, 1918
April 6, 1917 - Apr 1, 1920
Service in Russia
April 6, 1917 - July 1, 1921
Those having 1 day of service before Nov 12, 1918 and served after Nov 11, 1918 and before Jul 2, 1921
World War II
Dec 7, 1941 - Dec 31, 1946
Jun 27, 1950 - Jan 31, 1955
Aug 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975
Aug 2, 1990 - To be Determined
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Un-employability and Pension
Un-employability will be found to exist when it is determined that the veteran is unable to secure and follow substantially gainful employment by reason of a disability. When a total disability rating is based on un-employability, and there is evidence of marginal or intermittent employment, it is important to submit a detailed statement disclosing all facts about the work you perform, work days lost because of disability, job performance and limitations, pay, and any other special considerations.
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Housebound Benefits for Pension Recipients
Housebound benefits will be considered to exist when the veteran is rated with one of the following;
- Has a single disability that is rated at a 100% AND has additional disability(s) rated at 60%
- Be totally disabled from a single disability AND be permanently housebound.
Permanently housebound occurs when the veteran is substantially confined, as a direct result of his disability, to his house, ward, or clinical area, and it is reasonably certain that the circumstances will continue throughout their lifetime. Congenital, developmental, hereditary, or familial conditions may be considered. Income and asset limits apply, but are at a higher rate than pension.
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Aid & Attendance Benefits for Pension Recipients
The need for aid & attendance will be considered to exist when the person is a patient in a nursing home, is blind or so nearly blind, permanently bedridden, or so nearly helpless as to require the regular aid and attendance of another person. It is not required that the need be constant, but rather needed regularly. Household income & asset limits apply, but are at a higher rate than pension.
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The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to administer 3 prior pension programs. Applications are no longer being accepted for these programs, with the exception of the Spanish-American War pension.
Section 306 Pension: Formerly referred to as "New Law" or Public Law 86-211. Anyone receiving 306 pension continues to receive the same rate of pension, as effective on December 31, 1978, as long as they remain eligible for pension. Income and net worth limits apply.....
Protected Pension: Formerly referred to as "Old Law" was available for those receiving or entitled to receive pension on June 30, 1960. Monthly rates are based on income limitations.
Spanish American War (SAW) Pension: Payable to a surviving spouse or children of the war with Spain, the boxer Rebellion and the Philippine Insurrection, from April 21, 1898 through July 4, 1902 and extended to July 15, 1903 for hostilities in the Moro Province. Specific service requirements and income limitations apply.