Non-service Connected Pension

Veterans Benefits Banner - Pension Page

General Description

The pension benefit may be paid to wartime Veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or are 100% permanently and totally disabled. Pension rates can be found here. This is a needs base benefit. Recurring medical expenses can help offset income limits. Pensions can not be received at the same time as disabilty claims, but the VA pay which ever claim is the higher amount. 

Forms Commonly Required

  • VA Form 21-527EZ
  • VA Form 21-22 (if filing through this office)
  • VA Form 21P-8416
  • VA Form 21-4142 (if under 65 and private medical records are required, but not sent with the claim. This will delay the processing time. For fastest processing, submit all private medical records associated with the specified disabilities at the time of application.)
  • VA Form 21-686c (for Veterans with dependents)
  • Caregiver statement. This can be a family member or home health aid. Ask VSO for a copy of form. 

If applying for Pension with Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefit:

  • VA Form 21-2680 (completed by physician)
  • VA Form 21-0779 (completed by Nursing Home staff)

In addition to the VA forms, an applicant will need to gather the following documents as appropriate based on his or her application:

  • DD 214 (certificate of discharge)
  • Asset Information (bank account statements, etc.)
  • Verification of Income (social security award letter, and statements from pensions, IRAs, annuities, etc.)
  • Proof of Medical Premiums (Insurance Statements, Medication or Medical bills that are not reimbursed by Medi-Cal or Medicare)
  • Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, divorce decree, birth certificate, death certificate)


  • Under current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:
    • World War I (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
    • World War II (December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946)
    • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955)
    • Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975)
    • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)
  • Countable Income: Income received by the Veteran and his or her dependents, if any, from most sources. Includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business. VA presumes that all of a dependent child's income is available to the Veteran. VA will not count SSI, but it should be reported. MA Chapter 115 benefits are not countable and should not be reported.
  • Net Worth: the net value of the assets of the Veteran and his or her dependents. This includes but is not limited to, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and any property other than the Veteran's residence and a reasonable lot area. There is no set limit on how much net worth a Veteran and his dependents can have, but the net worth cannot be deemed excessive. All net worth should be reported and the VA will make the determination as to whether the claimant's assets are sufficient to live off of for a reasonable period of time.

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