VA Pension Qualifications

Aid and Attendance benefits qualifications

Sometimes called the Improved Pension or the Aid and Attendance Benefit Program

  Veteran must have served one day during a period of war with a total of 90 days of active duty. (Service starting after 1980 requires 24 months active duty, the veteran must have completed their tour of duty).  
  Have an honorable or general discharge.  
  Disability or the need for care does not have to be service related.


Under current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:
  • World War II (December 7, 1941 thru December 31, 1946)
  • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 thru January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 thru May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 thru May 7, 1975)
  • Gulf War August 2, 1990 thru through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation


  To qualify medically, a war-time veteran or surviving spouse must need the assistance of another person to perform daily task such as bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, transferring and walking. Being blind or in a nursing home for mental or physical incapacity or residing in an assisted living community also qualifies.  


  For VA purposes, net income is a relationship between total income and recognized, unreimbursed medical expenses. Allowable assets are determined by a number of factors such as life expectancy, medical expenses and dependent status. Therefore, for one claimant $20,000 in assets can be to much too qualify for benefits and $150,000 can be OK. This is why you must have someone help you understand the law and how to apply it.  
  It is important to property position your assets prior to applying for VA benefits, Improper planning can cause the application to be denied.