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Are You Eligible For Veterans’ Pension Benefits?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Veterans' Benefits

The Veterans Pension program provides financial assistance to veterans who meet specific requirements. These benefits can offset the cost of medical treatment or long-term care for eligible veterans. Do you qualify? Read on to find out.

The basic eligibility requirements

The first requirement a person must meet to be eligible for the Veterans’ Pension program is that they can’t have been dishonorably discharged from service. When people receive a dishonorable discharge, the government doesn’t legally recognize them as veterans. 

The next crucial element in determining eligibility is a person’s net worth. In 2023, the current net worth limit set by Congress is $150,538. A person’s total net worth consists of their assets and annual income. Assets include stocks, furniture or a recreational vehicle, not things like a primary home or car. Income includes one’s salary, tips, commission and bonuses. Let’s say you make $35,000 yearly and hold $100,000 in assets. In that case, you would fulfill the net worth requirement set forth by Congress.

In addition to the dishonorable discharge and net worth requirement, applicants must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be at least 65 years old
  • Have a permanent total disability
  • Be receiving long-term care due to a disability
  • Be a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you meet these three basic requirements, you’re on your way to being eligible to receive veterans’ pension benefits.

Service during a wartime period

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) currently recognizes the following periods as wartime periods:

  • May 9th, 1916 – April 5th, 1917 for the Mexican Border period
  • April 6th, 1917 – November 11th, 1918 for World War I
  • December 7th, 1941 – December 31st, 1946 for World War II
  • June 27th, 1950 – January 31st, 1955 for the Korean War period
  • November 1st, 1955 – May 7th, 1975 for people who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war
  • August 5th, 1964 – May 7th, 1975 for people who served outside Vietnam during the Vietnam War
  • August 2nd, 1990 – date yet to be set for the Gulf War period

To be eligible, those applying for veterans’ pension benefits must have served during one of the above periods.

What if you don’t meet all the requirements?

If you were dishonorably discharged from service, applying for a discharge upgrade could unlock veterans’ pension benefits. If you’re applying for the Veterans’ Pension programs and have concerns about meeting the requirements, the attorneys at Jurist Law Group, PLLC, are here to help.