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Veteran Services: Are you eligible for non-service-connected pension?

The VA provides a non-service-connected pension for wartime veterans with low incomes and who are over 65 years old, or to wartime veterans who are totally and permanently disabled for reasons not related to their military service.

The pension is intended to provide a guaranteed minimum income for veterans who qualify. For example: If the veteran has a countable income of $6,000 per year with no deductible medical expenses and no dependents, in 2017 the VA would have provided $13,166 — $6,000, or $7,166 paid in 12 equal monthly payments.

A veteran who is eligible for the Wartime Veterans Pension may also be qualified for the Aid

and Attendance or Housebound supplement. These supplements are paid in addition to the basic pension, and provide a small additional income for persons who either need daily assistance with everyday living tasks or are substantially confined to their home. A veteran can only be eligible for either Aid and Attendance or Housebound, not both.

Countable Income is a complex matter. For pension purposes, countable income is most sources of income received by the veteran or his/her dependents. This includes earnings, disability and retirement income, interest, dividends, rental income, net income from any business or farm, and normally any income from a dependent child. An example of an uncountable income is public assistance (such as SSI). Additionally, unreimbursable medical expenses and educational expenses can be deducted from countable income. There are other specific incomes that are deductible, so if the "Countable Income" as you calculate it is even in the ballpark of the income rates, you should apply for the pension and report all income sources. The VA is required to deduct all income allowed by law.

If you have applied previously, you should use VA Form 21-527. If you have any of the

following material, attach it to your application:

• Discharge or separation (DD-214)

• Dependency records (marriage and children's birth certificates)

• Medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports)

You can also use the VA's online application. The VA's benefits hotline number is 1-800-827-

1000. [Source: — August 2018 ++]

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You

can contact your local VSO at 218-631-7617 or by email at

and as always have a great week.