VA Pension for Veterans: Non-Service Connected Pension
Non-service connected pension is an income based program available to wartime veterans. The maximum rate is set by Congress, and all other income is considered when assessing the individual eligibility. However, VA also will allow income reduction through the use of out of pocket medical expenses. Additional amounts may be paid for eligible dependents.
Call us at 419-946-19146 for an appointment.
Generally, a Veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a VA Pension. If you entered active duty after September 7th, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least one day during a wartime period.
ELIGIBLE WARTIME PERIODS
Under the current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:
- World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
- World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
- Korean Conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam Era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990, – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation).
In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be:
- Age 65 or older OR
- Totally and permanently disabled OR
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care OR
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
How does it work?
- Monthly income, including social security, pension, interest, dividends and any other recurring monthly income are computed. Assets such as certificates of deposit, bank accounts, stock, bonds, etc are computed. Total assets are considered by the VA when they make the decision to grant or not to grant the benefit.
- Medical expenses that are not covered by insurance are used to reduce the income total. Allowable expenses may include nursing home or assisted living facility expense, prescription drugs, medical supplies, etc.
- VA will compute income and assets. A percentage of the allowable medical expenses will then be deducted from the income total. If the remaining income falls below the threshold set by Congress, the difference between the income and the threshold may be paid.
- This is a complicated process. Let people who do this professionally do your claim. If your paperwork is not done right, and VA pays when they should not have, you will be in an “over-payment” situation and you will need to repay any money that was not due. We are county employees – your county – paid for with your tax dollars. Everything we do for you is done at no charge, and is done professionally. We are accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which means in effect, they have licensed us to do this work. We are trained and have been tested in accordance with VA regulations to obtain our accreditation. Our only goal is to provide you a service, at no charge, that you have earned.
INFORMATION REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR VA NON SERVICE CONNECTED PENSION VETERAN
- Proof of Services (DD-214 or equivalent), original if possible showing WAR TIME service
- Social Security Number
- Date and place of Birth
- Name, address, and telephone number of nearest relative or other person to contact in the case of an emergency and their relations ship to Veteran
- Information on all previous marriages and divorces/death along with copies of divorce decrees and/or Death Certificates if possible
- Spouse Social Security Number
- Spouse date and place of birth
- Current Marriage Certificate
- If not living with spouse we will need reason not living together, his/her current address and how much the Veteran contributes to his/her support
- Information on all previous marriage (name(s) of all previous spouses, date and place of both marriages and divorce(s)/death). Copies of divorce decrees and/or death certificated when possible
- Name, date, and place of birth
- Social Security Numbers of all dependent children
- If a dependent child does not live with the Veteran, we will need that complete name and address of the person the child lives with and how much the Veteran contributes to their support
Monthly Income (Veteran, spouse, and dependents must be reported separately)
- Proof of gross income from Social Security, Civil Service, Railroad Retirement, Military Retirement Pay, Black Lung Benefits, Supplemental Security, Gross Wages/Salary, Interest/Dividend Income, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, Other Income. (Example – A current bank statement reflecting the direct deposit and/or pay stub and/or copy of the check(s).
Net worth Information (Veteran, spouse, and dependents must be reported separately)
- Amount of cash in Non-Interest Bearing Accounts, amount of cash in Interest Bearing Accounts, market value of Retirement Accounts (IRA’s, Keogh, Plans, etc.), market value of all Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds. Market value of Business Assets. Market value of any Real Property (not our home). Market value of all other property.
Cost of Recurring Monthly Medical Expenses
Supplemental health Insurance, nursing home or assisted living fees. If the surviving spouse is applying for the benefit, the Death Certificate of the Veteran must be provided.
Service Connected Compensation
Disability Compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected.
Disability compensation varies with the degree of disability and the number of a veteran’s dependents, and is paid monthly. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.
Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis have a seven year presumptive period and ALS if diagnosed any time after Active Duty service can become service connected.
The VA rates service connected disabilities on a scale from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. Each increment has a financial amount associated with it and disabilities rated 30% or higher include an additional amount for each eligible dependent.
Family Member Benefits
What is Survivors’ (Death) Pension?
Survivors’ (Death) Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to an un-remarried surviving spouse or an unmarried child, who meets certain requirements of a qualified deceased wartime Veteran.
There are a number of criteria that may affect your eligibility to pension benefits. If you are unsure if you meet all criteria, we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your income and assets. Unreimbursed medical expenses may lower your annual income and help provide eligibility. Often surviving spouses use this benefit to assist in payment of an Assisted Living Facility, Nursing Home Fees or home healthcare.
Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of one of the following:
- a military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
- a veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease
- a veteran whose death resulted from a non-service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service connected disability that was rated as totally disabling. It must meet one of the following sets of criteria:
- occurred for a duration of at least 10 years immediately before death
- occurred since the veteran’s release from active duty for a duration of at least five years immediately preceding death
- occurred at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999
- a veteran who, in certain instances, has a presumptive condition.
Veterans Health Care Administration
Medical care is available to many veterans through the VA clinic and medical center system. This is not an insurance plan – it is a medical system in which the veteran enrolls, and then receives treatment.
Our office, while separate from the VA provides information and assists in filing the application for these VA medical benefits.
Documents Required for Healthcare Appointments in our office:
- Last year’s total GROSS household incomes (all who live in the house)
- Last year’s total non-reimbursable medical expenses to include health insurance premiums, doctors/dentist bills, prescriptions, nursing homes, etc.
- Insurance/Medicare cards
- Address and phone numbers for veteran and spouse’s place of employment or where they are retired form
- Spouse’s SSN and other information
- DD 214
If you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well.
Minimum Duty Requirements
Most veterans who enlisted after September 7th, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16th, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, for a hardship or “early out,” or those who served prior to September 7th, 1980. Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all veterans to apply so that they may determine their enrollment eligibility.
Burials & Memorials
There are several ways deceased veterans can be honored. This includes military funeral honors, burial allowances, headstones and markers, burial flags, and, for eligible Sailors and Marines, burial at sea.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the pre-need burial eligibility determination program to assist anyone who would like to know if they are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA is promoting pre-need eligibility determinations to encourage Veterans and their eligible family members to plan in advance to use VA burial benefits that Veterans have earned through their military service. Planning in advance for a Veteran’s or loved-one’s final resting place can eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce stress on a family at a difficult time. Veteran families will have increased confidence that their loved ones are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery at their time of need.
Burial in a National Cemetery
The most important thing for a veteran to remember is that burial benefits to include the burial flag and the military funeral honors cannot be provided without a copy of your military discharge (DD-214). Please make sure you have your discharge and that someone in your family knows where it is kept. If you do not know where this document is located, we may be able to assist in getting a replacement.
The Dayton National Cemetery and the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio are the two National Cemeteries in Ohio. Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a National cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran. Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the pre-need burial eligibility determination program to assist anyone who would like to know if they are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery. VA is promoting pre-need eligibility determinations to encourage Veterans and their eligible family members to plan in advance to use VA burial benefits that Veterans have earned through their military service. Planning in advance for a Veteran’s or loved-one’s final resting place can eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce stress on a family at a difficult time. Veteran families will have increased confidence that their loved ones are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery at their time of need.