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Veterans Disability Benefits

Learn about types of benefits available to some veterans with disabilities. These include compensation, pensions, and grants for veterans with certain service-connected disabilities as well as pensions for some veterans 65 and older and grants for vets with age-related disabilities.

VA Disability Compensation Benefits

Veterans who have a service-related injury or illness may be entitled to VA disability compensation. It’s a tax-free monthly benefit.

Visit VA.gov to learn:

  • Which conditions qualify you for benefits

  • How the claims process works

  • Where to file your claim

  • How to appeal a decision you disagree with. The process changed in February 2019.

Survivors of veterans may receive compensation benefits in certain situations.

Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance

Veterans with certain service-connected or aging-related disabilities can get housing help. You may qualify for special housing grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

  • Apply for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. You can use it to:

    • Build an adapted home

    • Install ramps or widen doors

    • Make other modifications to help you live independently

  • If you qualify for an SAH or SHA grant but are living temporarily in a family member’s home, you may be able to get a Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant. It can pay for necessary changes to your relative’s home.

  • You may be eligible for a Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant. You do not need to have a service-connected disability to qualify. This grant provides medically necessary improvements and structural changes to your primary home.

VA Pensions for Veterans and Survivors With a Low Income

Wartime veterans with a low income and their survivors may qualify for a tax-free pension. These monthly payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are based on financial need.

Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension Eligibility 

Both pensions base eligibility on the veteran’s service time, financial need, and age or status of the veteran or survivor. 

How to Calculate VA Pensions

The amount for both pensions is the difference between the recipient’s "countable" income and the annual pension limit set by Congress.

How to Apply for a VA Pension

See how to apply for a veterans pension, including online.

See how to apply for a survivors pension.

Aid & Attendance (A&A) and Housebound Benefits

If you receive a VA pension, you may also qualify for Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits. You can only get one of them. Each has its own qualifications.

Veterans Pension Versus Military Retirement

Some people confuse military retirement benefits with a VA pension. Here are two ways to tell the difference:

  • Military retirement is taxable but a VA pension is tax-free.  

  • Military retirement uses years of service (not necessarily wartime). But a VA pension is based on wartime service and financial need. 

Veterans Pension Versus Disability Compensation

In some cases, veterans can receive disability compensation. It's not the same as the VA pension. Here’s a way to tell the difference:

  • Disability compensation is for an illness or injury that happens because of or was made worse by your military service. It’s not income-based and war service is not required. 

  • A VA pension is for war veterans with a low income and who may have a disability that is not service-related.  

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Last Updated: April 27, 2021

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