Elder Law Services of Ventura County

Craig R. Ploss - Attorney at Law

VA Eligibility Planning - Non-Service Connected Pensions

Unknown to many veterans and their families are pension benefits designed for disabled veterans, or their surviving spouses, who need income assistance to help pay for in-home care-giving or independent/assisted living facilities. The primary and most applied for pension benefit is called “Aid & Attendance” and is available to disabled veterans or their surviving spouses who have low income and resources.

Basic Eligibility Requirements:

  • Veteran must have served at least 90 consecutive days active duty with 1 day of the 90 during a qualified war period

    Qualifying War Periods:

    WWI:04/06/1917 - 11/11/1918
    WWII:12/07/1941 - 12/31/1946
    Korea:06/27/1950 - 01/31/1955
    Vietnam: 02/28/1961 - 05/07/1975 (for service in-country)
     08/05/1964 - 05/07/1975 (all others)
    Gulf War:08/02/90 - to be determined (must have served for a minimum 2-year period)

  • Veteran must have other than a dishonorable discharge
  • Claimant’s (veteran or surviving spouse) physician must declare him/her as in need of assistance from another person, if homebound, or requiring 24/7 supervision in an assisted living or skilled care environment
  • Claimant must have limited household assets - excluding home, automobile, and personal belongings! VA considers claimant’s life expectancy in determining amount of allowed non-exempt assets.
  • Claimant’s household out-of-pocket monthly expenses for unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs) must exceed or come close to his/her monthly gross income (Assisted Living and Skilled Care Facility costs considered such UMEs)
  • A Surviving Spouse must have been married to veteran for at least 1 year, or have children by the veteran if married less than 1 year and never remarried

‘A & A’ Pension Benefits:

2014 Maximum Pension Rates:Single Veteran$1,758.00/mo
 Married Veteran$2,085.00/mo
 Surviving Spouse$1,130.00/mo


290 Maple Court, Suite 118, Ventura CA 93003
(805) 642-8407 - FAX (866) 379-2149