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Pensions for Veterans and Their Families
The VA helps veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension program. This is done through tax-free monetary benefits payable to low-income wartime veterans.
Pension benefits are needs-based. To qualify, your "countable" family income must fall below the yearly limit set by law. For both the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension, the veteran must have at?least 90 days of active duty, including one day during a wartime period. If the active duty occurred after Sept. 7, 1980, the veteran must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called up (with some exceptions). In addition, the veteran must have been discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
To qualify for a?Veterans Pension, a veteran must also be at least?one?of the following:
Age 65 or older
Totally and permanently disabled
A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care
Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance
Receiving Supplemental Security Income
An un-remarried spouse of a deceased wartime veteran is eligible for a?Survivors Pension?at any age. Eligibility for a?Survivors Pension is based on income and the deceased veteran must have met the same service requirements as described for the Veterans Pension.
A?child of a deceased wartime veteran may be eligible for?a Survivors Pension if the child is:
Under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school
Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18
Increased Pension Amouunts
If you are a veteran or a surviving spouse who is eligible for a VA pension, you may be eligible for additional funds if you are housebound or you require the aid of another person to perform everyday tasks, such as bathing, feeding and dressing, among others. These additional funds can help offset the cost of the additional care you may need.
Even if your income is greater than the congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension, you may still be eligible if you have high medical expenses for which you are not being reimbursed. This includes nursing home expenses.?
The?Aid & Attendance special monthly compensation amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet?one?of the following conditions:
You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
The?Housebound?increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability.
Note: You cannot receive Aid & Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
How to Apply
To apply for a Veterans Pension, complete the VA Form 21P-527EZ and submit it to:3423 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Bldg 32Lansing, MI 48906
To apply for a Survivors Pension, complete the VA Form 21P-534EZ and submit it to:
3423 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48906
For assistance with completing the application, contact your local Veteran Service Officer or call the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency at 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838).