The incalculable value of the contributions of our Veterans to our country is rarely, fully comprehended. Likewise, the full value of the non-service connected improved pension benefit available for our Veterans and their widows, is rarely comprehended either. This benefit is so misunderstood that senior facilities and family members of seniors often pay $500 to $1,500 just to gain information about, and finally obtain it. Yet this improved pension benefit has been available for Veterans since November 1, 1951. 

     The Veteran or his widow must also meet other means testing criteria for their income and assets. When properly understood, neither of these is as exclusionary as they first appear. 

     So why all the confusion and misunderstanding? First is the very name of the benefit itself, an improved pension benefit. Everyone in America thinks you only get a pension benefit from your employer after a significant number of years of service, usually 20 or 30. No one believes there are any benefits due after only 90 days of service. But there is a benefit for our Veterans and their widows. And rightfully so. 

    Finally there are income limitations considered for those considering their eligibility for this benefit. The Department of Veterans Affairs considers income for this benefit. Income minus UME = IVAP! Indeed they call it IVAP or Income for Veterans Affairs Purposes, which is income minus un-reimbursed medical expenses ( UME).  Because of this, the improved pension benefit is normally triggered when the Veteran (or widow) has entered a care facility of some sort.

A note concerning Medicaid:  If the Veteran is qualified for Medicaid, the VA benefit available is $90.00 per month, not the amounts show in the table.

These rates increase annually on December 1st


What does it take to apply for the improved pension benefit. 

  • Only 90 days of continuous, active duty military service, one of which was during wartime

  • Any discharge other than a dishonorable discharge.

  • Disabled OR... at least age 65

Veteran's Benefits and Rightfully So!

They were willing to
They were willing to


Government Benefit Analysts, LLC.