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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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andrewdc

va pension

Question

Is your monthly VA disability payment counted as income for va pension benefits?

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You cannot receive both at the same time. 

 

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Stateside Legal has this explanation:

https://statesidelegal.org/veteran-s-disability-compensation-and-disability-pension

Much to my surprise it states this:

"In addition, veterans may receive benefits from both the VA Disability Compensation Program and the VA Disability Pension simultaneously. This may occur were the disability compensation is at a level that remains below the income maximum of the VA Pension Program. Thus, VA Disability Compensation is also considered in calculating a veteran’s yearly family income for purposes of the VA Pension."

However pension regulations just changed 2 days ago:

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently amended its regulations governing entitlements to VA pension and Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which are need-based programs.   

“The amended regulations bring consistency to the pension process and ensure benefits are available for Veterans and survivors with financial need,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They will help maintain the integrity of and provide clarity to our needs-based pension program.” 

VA’s pension program provides monthly benefit payments to eligible wartime Veterans and their survivors with financial need.

The pension regulations, which were updated Oct. 18, cover the following:

  • Establish a clear net-worth limit for income and assets for Veterans to qualify for pension, 
  • Establish a 36-month look-back period to review asset transfers at less than fair market value that reduce net worth and create pension entitlement, 
  • Establish up to a five-year penalty period to be calculated based on the portion of the covered assets that would have made net worth excessive, and
  • Updates medical expense definitions for consistency with VA internal guidelines.

The changes are intended to ensure VA only pays benefits to those Veterans with a genuine need. 

For more information on VA’s pension program, visit www.benefits.va.gov/PENSION/."

https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5134

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I stand corrected. Thank you, Berta. The legal page that I looked at apparently has outdated or incorrect information. 

 

CAS

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When a Veteran is eligible for both VA pension and VA compensation, the VA pays the greater of the 2.  Source:  Personal experience.  

So, when I was 40 percent SC, I got the pension as it was bigger.  However, when I reached 100 percent, the pension was dropped as the VA comp was higher.  

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I think Berta hit the nail on the head.  And in a somewhat analogous situation, one can now also receive military retirement pay and VA disability pay.  Not sure off the top of my head when this change occurred, but I am willing to bet a dollar to a donut  (this cliché is somewhat old, and inflation has rendered it's original meaning moot) that there are countless veterans who have been in the system for years and are not receiving their full benefit from both.  

For those (which is almost everyone) who has problems with the VA bureaucracy,  just imagine the nightmare in getting the VA to work with DOD to get their benefits reconciled. 

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