2024 VA Pension Rates

Updated: November 30, 2023

VA Pension rates will jump 3.2.% in 2024. It follows the Social Security Administration announcing a 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase. The 2024 VA pension rates start on December 1, 2023.

This article reviews the current VA pension rates and guidance on whether or not you may qualify. Veterans who qualify for a VA pension receive the difference between their countable income and their Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR).

Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR): The VA bases MAPR on how many dependents you have, if your spouse is also a qualifying veteran and if your disabilities qualify you for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits. MAPRs are adjusted annually for cost-of-living adjustment increases.

See the latest COLA increase updates for 2024 here.

2024 VA Pension Rate Tables

For Veterans With No Dependents:

If You Have No Dependents and…Your MAPR Amount Is:
You don't qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits$16,551
You qualify for Housebound benefits$20,226
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits$27,609

Note: If you have medical expenses, the amount you can deduct should be over 5% of your MAPR. That comes to $801 for a veteran with no spouse or child.

For Veterans With at Least One Dependent Spouse or Child:

If you have one dependent and...Your MAPR amount is:
You don’t qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits$21,674
You qualify for Housebound benefits$25,348
You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits$32,729

Note:

  • If you have more than one dependent, add $2,831 to your MAPR amount for each additional dependent.
  • If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $14,600.
  • If you have medical expenses, you can deduct the amount over 5% of your MAPR amount. That is $1,083 for a veteran with one dependent.

For Two Veterans Who Are Married to Each Other:

If you're two veterans who are married to each other and...Your MAPR amount is:
Neither of you qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits$21,674
One of you qualifies for Housebound benefits$25,348
Both of you qualify for Housebound benefits$29,021
One of you qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits$32,729
One of you qualifies for Housebound benefits and one of you qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits$36,395
Both of you qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits$43,791

Note:

  • If you have more than one dependent, add $2,831 to your MAPR amount for each additional dependent.
  • If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $14,600.
  • If you have medical expenses, you can deduct the amount that is over 5% of your MAPR amount. That is $1,083 for a veteran with one dependent.

About VA Pensions

VA pensions provide tax-free supplemental income to wartime veterans with at least 90 days of active-duty service, including at least one day during a wartime period, who meet income, age, disability and discharge requirements.

The benefit is the difference between your “countable” income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. The Department of Veterans Affairs established the pension rate tables, including the supplements for Housebound and Aid and Attendance.

VA Pension Requirements

The veterans pension program requirements include both of the following:

  • The applicant does not have a dishonorable discharge.
  • The applicant’s annual family income and net worth must be at or below the limits set by Congress.

Your net worth combines you and your spouse’s personal property except for your house, vehicle and basic home items you wouldn’t take with you if you moved to a new home. It also includes any investments (stocks or bonds) but does not include any debt.

VA Pension Service Requirements

To be eligible for a VA pension, you must meet on of the following service requirements:

  • You began active duty before Sept. 8, 1980, and served at least 90 days on active duty with at least one day during wartime.
  • You entered active duty as an enlisted member after Sept. 7, 1980, and served at least 24 months or the full period when called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions) with at least one day during wartime.
  • You are an officer and started on active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, and hadn’t previously served on active duty for at least 24 months.

Additional VA Pension Requirements

Outside of income, you must also meet one of the following:

  • You are 65 years old or older.
  • You have a permanent and total disability.
  • You are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability.
  • You are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

The amount you receive as your pension depends on your countable income, how many dependents you have and other variables.

Net Worth Limits

Net worth limits for VA pensions are subject to change. For the period of Dec. 1, 2023, to Nov. 30, 2024, the net worth limit to be eligible for benefits is $155,356. Those with a higher net worth will not qualify for a VA veterans pension.

How Net Worth Limits Are Calculated

In 2018, the VA made changes to how an individual’s net worth is calculated in order to determine eligibility.

Because the VA net worth cap on this pension program is based on the overall amount, both the applicant’s and their spouse’s assets and income must be reported. Children with a  net worth exceeding the applicant’s are not counted as dependents for the purpose of establishing net worth.

When reporting your assets, you will need to report the fair market value “of all your real and personal property,” according to the VA. This does not include your mortgages. Real property counts as taxable real estate (land and buildings) that you may own. Personal property can include investments, furniture and boats.

Your countable annual income is defined by the VA as “the money earned in a year from a job or from retirement or annuity payments” up to and including:

  • Salary or hourly pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Overtime
  • Tips

How to Apply for Veterans Pension with VA Form 21-527EZ

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Glossary of Terms

  • A&AAid and Attendance – A&A is a benefit paid on top of a monthly pension to a veteran who requires the aid of another person to perform activities of daily living or is blind or meets other specific visual acuity requirements ir is a patient in a nursing home because of physical and/or mental incapacity.
  • Child earned-income exclusion – This is the amount of earnings excluded from a dependent child.
  • Countable income – This includes income from most sources, as well as from any eligible dependents. It generally includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividend payments and net income from farming or a business. Some expenses, such as unreimbursed medical expenses, may reduce countable income.
  • Death pension – It is intended to supplement the income of a surviving spouse or child who needs financial assistance by providing a minimum level of financial security.
  • Housebound – The qualifications for Housebound benefits are: a single disability rated 100% and separate disabilities rated 60% or more (veterans only) or permanently housebound due to disabilities per 38 CFR 3.351(d) or Hartness v. Nicholson (2006) when a pension has been granted based on the veteran being age 65 or older.
  • MAPR – The maximum annual pension rate (MAPR) is the maximum amount of pension payable to a veteran, surviving spouse or child. The MAPR fluctuates based on individual circumstances (number of dependents, allowances for Housebound or Aid and Attendance). The MAPR is reduced for each dollar of income that the veteran, surviving spouse, child or their families have.
  • MBW – Mexican border war
  • MIW – Minimum income annuity
  • Net worth – It is the total of your or your beneficiary’s assets and annual income. Assets included are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and any property other than your residence and a reasonable lot area. The VA will determine whether assets are of a sufficiently large amount that one could live off them for a reasonable period of time. The net worth limit increases by the same percentage as the Social Security cost-of-living increase.
  • Penalty period – A penalty period is the length of time during which a survivor isn’t eligible for pension benefits because they transferred assets for less than fair market value during the three-year look-back period. This may apply if those transferred assets would have caused the survivor’s net worth to be over the limit mentioned above. However, not every asset transfer is subject to this penalty.
  • Veterans pension – This is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime veterans.
  • SAW – Spanish-American War
  • SBPSurvivor benefit plan
  • SS – Veteran’s surviving spouse
  • Survivors’ pension – A tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, widowed spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased veteran with wartime service.

Written by Veteran.com Team