1. You or your spouse must have served a cumulative 90 days of active service duty with one of those 90 days being during a recognized time of war. View Wartime Dates
2. You or your spouse must have a military discharge, anything other than a dishonorable discharge. Click to obtain service record
3. If you are applying as a single or widowed Veteran, you must be EITHER (a) at least age 65 OR (b) 100% permanently disabled, not due to your own willful misconduct. This is NOT a requirement for Surviving Spouses applying for death pension.
If you are applying as a Surviving Spouse, there are two other stipulations:
You must not have remarried since the death of your wartime veteran spouse.
You must have been married to the veteran for at least one year or have had a child with the Veteran.
If you are a veteran who entered active duty military service after September 7, 1980:
You must have completed two years of service or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty, instead of 90 days. There are some exceptions to this rule.
SECOND CATEGORY – MONTHLY INCOME (IVAP)
The second category is that of monthly income. Although almost all others will tell you monthly income always must be reduced by unreimbursed medical expenses and therefore you must have a medical need, they are poorly informed. That is not true. Instead, your monthly income, as calculated by the VA, (called IVAP), must be lower than the monthly benefit you are eligible to receive, (called MAPR). More Information about MAPR.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN NEED OF ANY MEDICAL ATTENTION TO RECEIVE THE IMPROVED PENSION BENEFIT OR DEATH PENSION.
IVAP is a fairly complex calculation that may consider your total un-reimbursed medical expenses (UME). However the VA classifies UME as either (a) recurring UME or (b) non-recurring UME. They both count – but at different times. You must apply them at different times and on different form for them to count. For instance, prescription drugs, even those taken for years such as insulin, are considered to be non-recurring and do not count as recurring UME initially. For a free calculation of your IVAP and to know your MAPR, while you are in the assessment phase of your eligibility, click on the Contact Us tab on this website.
The VA considers ALL of the assets of both the Veteran and Spouse. There is no set maximum limit on how much net worth a Veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive.
Assets which are excluded are:
Your primary residence and a reasonable lot area, if you or your spouse is currently living in the residence.
A motor vehicle you use for transportation.
Normal household objects and personal items (e.g., furniture, clothing, and jewelry).
THIRD CATEGORY – NET WORTH or ASSETS
The VA takes into consideration a number of variables when making a net worth determination such as:
Income from other sources
Life expectancy of Veteran or Surviving Spouse, and
Convertibility into cash of the assets involved
Each Veteran or Surviving Spouse’s situation needs individual attention. For a free calculation of your asset limitations while you are in the assessment phase of your eligibility, click on the Contact Us tab on this website.