Apply for Veterans Compensation or Pension

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Overview

Disability compensation payments and financial need-based pensions are two, totally different programs available to Veterans who meet certain criteria. It is important to note that while a Veteran may be eligible for both Disability Compensation and Veterans Pension benefits, the federal VA will only grant one (the greater amount).

Eligibility

For best results in determining if you qualify for these or other Veterans benefit programs, contact one of our Veterans Service Centers. Here is a partial list of eligibility requirements:

  • Disability compensation
    • Veterans must have been separated or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
    • Veterans must have a service-connected disability, illness, or injury (incurred or aggravated during active military service)
  • Pension
    • Age 65 or older
    • Permanently and totally disabled
    • Income does not exceed limits set by the United States government
    • 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war
    • Separated or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
    • Disability for reasons other than the your own willful misconduct

Things To Consider

  • Before starting this process, call or visit one of our Service Centers so that we can discuss eligibility, benefits and documents needed to support a claim
  • Disability compensation
    • Payments are monthly
    • Benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax
    • Payment varies with the degree of disability and number of dependents
    • Certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation
  • Veterans Pension
    • Low income wartime Veterans may qualify if certain requirements are met, such as length of service
    • Veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for maximum higher benefits if they qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits

How To

Please gather and bring the following:

  1. Medical records needed to support your claim
  2. Other documents/information needed for the application:
    • DD214/Separation documents
    • Military severance or separation pay
    • Marital history for dependent spouse
    • Verification of dependent child qualifications:
      • under the age of 18
      • or at least 18 but under 23 and pursuing an approved course of education
      • or permanently incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 18
    • Checking or savings account information for direct deposit
    • Income verification
    • Medical, legal or other expenses (if filing for special monthly pension)
  3. To help expedite claims, download and fill out as much information as possible on the following required form(s) and bring to your Veteran Service Officer (forms can also supplied at the office if you are unable to download):
    • VAF-21-526EZ - Application for Veterans Pension
    • VBA-21-22 - Appointment of Veteran Service Organization as Claimants Representative (authorizing the VSO to assist with your claim)
    • VBA-21-2680 (optional) - Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Aid & Attendance – if filing for special monthly pension

What's Next

  1. A Veterans Service Officer will submit your application and supporting documents when all information is completed
    • Important: for best results, do not mail in claim forms before a consultation meeting with your Veterans Services Officer
  2. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will review the application and make a determination and notify you via mail
    • Per the VA website: The length of time it takes to complete a claim depends on several factors, such as the type of claim filed, complexity of your disability(ies), the number of disabilities you claim, and the availability of evidence needed to decide your claim

Documents

Get Help

Department
Phone
(813) 635-8316