To qualify for benefits from the Veterans Pension program, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, you must not have received a dishonorable discharge at the end of your military career. Anything other than an honorable discharge can result in disqualification from VA pension benefits.
Additionally, the yearly income and net worth of your family must fall within certain limits established by congress. Your family’s total net worth includes yours or your spouse’s personal property except your house, your car, and most home furnishings, minus the total debt you have.
Furthermore, you must satisfy at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for VA retirement benefits:
- You began your active-duty service before September 8, 1980, and you served a minimum of 90 days on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime.
- You began your active-duty service as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980. You must have also served a minimum of 24 months or the full period which you were called or ordered to serve on active duty with at least 1 day during wartime. There are some exceptions to the eligibility criteria.
- You served as an officer and began your active-duty service after October 16, 1981, and you did not previously serve on active duty for a minimum of 24 months.
To qualify for retirement benefits, at least one of these must also be true:
- You are at least 65 years of age.
- You are living with a permanent and total disability.
- You are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care due to a disability.
- You are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
Under the current law established by the federal government, the following periods are considered wartime. So, if you were in the active or reserve military during any of these periods of time, you will likely qualify for your Veterans Affairs retirement benefits. and will qualify you for VA retirement benefits:
The Mexican Border period, which includes Veterans who served in Mexico, in adjacent waters, or on the border between May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917.
World War I, which was the period between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918.
World War II, which was the period between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.
The Korean conflict, which was the period between June 27, 1950 and January 31, 1955.
The Vietnam War, which includes Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, from November 1, 1955 to May 7, 1975.
The Vietnam War Era, which includes Veterans who served outside the Republic of Vietnam during the period of August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.
The Gulf War, which began in August 2, 1990 and which will extend to a future date which will be established by a federal law or presidential proclamation in the future.