Non-Service Connected Pension

Non-service connected pension is a income based paid benefit available to wartime veterans that are permanently and totally disabled or are over the age of 65.


Generally, a Veteran must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a VA Pension. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions), with at least one day during a wartime period.

In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be:

  • Age 65 or older OR
  • Totally and permanently disabled OR
  • A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care OR
  • Receiving Supplemental Security Income

A veteran must also meet income guidelines. The maximum rate is set by Congress, and all other income is considered when assessing the individual eligibility. However, VA also will allow income reduction through the use of out of pocket medical expenses. Additional amounts may be paid for eligible dependents.

Eligible Wartime Periods

Under the current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:

  • World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
  • World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
  • Korean Conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
  • Vietnam Era (February 28, 1961 – May 8, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Rupublic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
  • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

How Does It Work?

  • Monthly income, including social security, pension, interest, dividends, and other recurring monthly income are computed. Assets such as certificates of deposit, bank accounts, stock, bonds, etc., are computed. Total assets are considered by the VA when they make the decision to grant or not to grant the benefit.
  • Medical expenses that are not covered by insurance are used to reduce the income total. Allowable expenses may include nursing home or assisted living facility expense, prescription drugs, medical supplies, etc.
  • VA will compute income and assets. A percentage of the allowable medical expenses will then be deducted from the income total. If the remaining income falls below the threshold set by Congress, the difference between the income and the threshold may be paid.
  • This is a complicated process. Let people who do this professionally do your claim. If your paperwork is not done correctly, and VA pays when they should not have, you will be in an “over-payment” situation and you will need to repay any money that was not due. We are county employees – your county – paid for with your tax dollars. Everything we do for you is done at no charge, and is completed professionally. We are trained and have been tested in accordance with VA regulations to obtain our accreditation. Our only goal is to provide you a service, at not charge, that you have earned.

Information Required to Apply for a VA Non-Service Connected Pension

Download VA Pension Benefit Checklist


  • Proof of Service (DD 214 or equivalent) original if possible showing wartime service
  • Social Security Number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name, address, and telephone number of person to contact in case of emergency and their relationship to the veteran
  • Information on all previous marriages/divorces/deaths along with copies of marriage license, divorce decrees and/or death certificates if possible

Current Spouse

  • Social Security Number
  • Date and place of birth
  • If not living with spouse, we will need reason not living together, his/her current address and how much the veteran contributes to his/her support
  • Information on all previous marriage(s), of all previous spouse(s), date and place of marriage(s) and divorce(s)/death(s). Copies of divorce decree(s) and/or death certificate(s) when possible

Current Dependents

  • Name(s) of dependent(s), date of birth and place of birth
  • Social Security number(s) of all dependent children
  • If dependent child/children does not live with the veteran, we will need the name, address of the person the child/children live with and how much the veteran contributes to their support

Monthly Income of Veteran, Spouse, and Dependents

  • Proof of gross income from all sources – Example: A current bank statement reflecting the direct deposit and/or pay stub and/or copy of check(s)

Net Worth Information (Veteran, Spouse, and Dependents)

  • Amount of cash in Non-Interest Bearing Accounts, Amount of Cash in Interest Bearing Accounts, market value of Retirement Accounts, market value of Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds, market value of Business Assets, any Real Property (not your home) and of all other property.

Cost of Recurring Monthly Medical Expenses

If the surviving spouse is applying for the benefit, the death certificate of the veteran must be provided and bring a voided check.