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A VA pension can provide some level of income security for economically disadvantaged wartime Veterans and their survivors.

Overview of VA pension benefits

How to Apply

The fastest way to obtain a pension benefit decision is to file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) using the following forms, as applicable:

A VA pension may provide income to make life more secure for Veterans and their loved ones.
Pension is a needs-based benefit for wartime Veterans with limited or no income who are age 65 or older or who have a permanent and total non-service-connected disability.
Veterans who establish eligibility for a basic pension but are housebound or who require the aid and attendance of another person in order to perform activities of daily living, may qualify for pension at an increased rate (this is called “Special Monthly Pension”).

VA Requirements

  • Proof of income and net worth information (e.g., bank statements, paystubs)
  • Private medical treatment records and where to find any relevant treatment records that might be held by a federal facility, such as a VA medical center
  • Completed pension program applications:

VA Application Process

Pension claim decision times vary depending on the complexity of the case and evidence. The fastest way to obtain a pension benefit decision is to file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC). Here are some typical steps in the process:

  • Select the type of pension claim and gather the evidence it requires.
  • Collect military medical and other records.
  • Gather any private medical records.
  • Certify that there is no more evidence.
  • Submit your application.


Some benefits may also be used by active service members, reservists, and National Guard members as well as eligible spouses, children, and survivors of Veterans and service members. Consult the VA benefits booklet or visit the nearest VA regional office for character of discharge requirements and more detailed information.

Page last updated on July 22, 2021


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