Pension for War Time Veterans and Spouses
There is a pension available to certain veterans and their spouses through the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). It is an income stream paid out on the basis of a veteran’s service during an established war-time period, such as World War II or Korea. The pension is not related to any injury received by the veteran during military service. In fact, it is a “non-service connected” disability pension.
As mentioned above, the pension is paid out on the basis of the veteran’s war-time service. It is available to veterans that meet 3 basic eligibility criteria (medical need; asset test; income test), explained in more detail below. It is also available to widows of veterans that meet the basic criteria. And, in very specific circumstances, a pension is available for ill spouses of healthy veterans.
This pension is referred to by many names, not all of them being entirely correct. We will refer to it as the VA “Aid & Attendance” pension. It is made up of a low income or base pension plus a supplemental amount. It may also be called the “Improved Pension” or “Special Monthly Pension”. Also, the A&A pension should not be confused with service-connected compensations that are based upon the severity of injuries incurred during military service.
If a veteran meets eligibility for the A&A pension, then the maximum monthly benefit paid to the veteran is $1788. If the veteran has a dependent (a spouse), then the maximum monthly benefit paid to the veteran is $2120. For the widow, the amount of the maximum monthly benefit is $1149. And, for the ill spouse of a living healthy veteran, the maximum monthly benefit paid to the veteran is $1404. It is also important to note that a base pension of $985 is available to all veterans who have low income levels. When paid, these funds are tax fee income. These amounts are set each year on December 1. These are 2015 levels changed as of December 1, 2015.
When Is There a Fee for Assistance?
Attorneys may charge a legal planning fee to assess whether there are any benefits you may be eligible for through the VA and develop a comprehensive plan to enable you to achieve these benefits. However, no one, not even an attorney, can charge you to assist with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of your claim.