VA Pension

The Basics

The VA Pension — also known as the non-service-connected (NSC) pension — gives monthly payments and other benefits to low-income, wartime veterans who are age 65 or older, or who have a permanent disability that is not connected to their military service.

If you are a veteran who gets an NSC pension, you also get Priority VA Health Care benefits and may qualify for other benefits. Family members of deceased veterans, including an un-remarried surviving spouse or a child who meets certain age or disability requirements, may also qualify for VA Pension benefits.

The VA Pension is a program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which gives various benefits to veterans. VA services and benefits are available through a nationwide network of hospitals, outpatient clinics, community living centers, residential rehabilitation treatment programs, Vet Centers, benefits regional offices, and national cemeteries. The VA's Detroit Regional Office coordinates VA benefits in Michigan.

The VA Pension program is separate from the VA Disability Compensation program, which gives a tax-free cash benefit to veterans who have an injury or disease that is service-connected, meaning it happened while you were on active duty or it was made worse by your active duty. For more details, read DB101’s article on VA Disability Compensation.

You can’t get a VA Pension and VA Disability Compensation at the same time. However, it’s good to apply for both, because if you qualify for both, the VA pays you whichever benefit is higher.

This article looks at the eligibility requirements, benefits, and services of the VA Pension program, including frequently asked questions, mistakes to avoid, how to apply, and where to learn more.

Learn more