Non-Service-Connected Disability Pension

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Presenter: Louis George

Length: 91 minutes

Recorded: March 2024

Approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit by the Virginia State Bar


Webinar Description:

Many totally disabled or senior veterans who are in need may be entitled to an important VA benefit, even if they do not have any service-connected conditions: non-service-connected disability pension. This benefit provides wartime veterans with financial support when they are unable to support themselves. To be eligible, though, a veteran must satisfy several requirements. While some of these requirements are relatively straightforward, others are more complicated. For example, determining whether a veteran satisfies the income and net worth limits often involves a calculation that requires knowledge of what the VA considers income, what expenses can be deducted from income, and what the VA considers an asset. Adding to the complexity are rules that penalize veterans who try to create entitlement to pension by transferring assets. It is critical that advocates understand the nuances of the VA’s “Improved Pension” program, so that they can provide accurate advice and effective representation to veterans seeking this benefit.

This 90-minute webinar will cover the following and more:

  • The basic eligibility requirements for pension, including the length and type of service, need, and permanent and total disability
  • An in-depth explanation of what money received by a veteran counts as income and what is excluded from this calculation for pension purposes
  • What qualifies as a medical expense and whether that expense can be deducted from a veteran’s income
  • The “net worth” limit and what assets are considered in calculating a veteran’s net worth
  • The look-back period for asset transfers; what types of asset transfers will warrant a penalty; and how the VA determines the length of the penalty period during which a veteran will not be eligible for pension
  • Special monthly pension available for veterans who require aid and attendance or meet housebound requirements.
  • Advocacy tips for how to maximize a veteran’s pension benefits