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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.

VA Pensions for Low-Income Veterans and Survivors

Low-income wartime veterans and their survivors may qualify for a Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension. These tax-free 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 additional payments if you need ongoing help from another person (Aid & Attendance) or if you’re housebound. You can only get one of these types of additional payments. Each program has its own qualifications.  

Learn about eligibility and how to apply for Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits for low-income veterans. Watch a short video explaining Aid & Attendance

Veterans Pension Versus Disability Compensation

In some cases,veterans can receive disability compensation. It is not the same as the VA pension for low-income wartime veterans. 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 low-income war veterans who may have a disability that is not service-related.  

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. 

Infographic: Adaptive Housing Grants for Veterans

Veterans with service-connected disabilities may qualify for adaptive housing grants to build or modify their home to meet their needs.

Ways that VA adapted housing grants can be used to modify veterans' homes. View a larger version of the infographic.

Ways that VA adapted housing grants can be used to modify veterans' homes.
  • Make Yourself at Home: VA’s Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

    Did You Know?

    VA offers monetary assistance to veterans with specific service-connected physical disabilities, so they can construct or modify a home to best meet their needs.

    What Renovations Qualify?

    • Bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms

    • Covered porches, ramps, and walkways

    • Garages, carports, and passageways

    • Doors, windows, and flooring materials

    • Security items

    • Concrete or asphalt walkways

    • Sliding doors, handrails, and grab bars

    For a full list, contact: sahinfo.vbaco@va.gov

    Who is Eligible?

    Veterans or servicemembers, with a permanent and total service-connected disability, who have experienced one or more of the following conditions:

    • Loss of or loss of use of both arms and/or both legs

    • Blindness in both eyes or only light perception

    • Certain severe burns

    • Certain severe respiratory injuries

    For additional eligibility information, contact: sahinfo.vbaco@va.gov

    How to Apply

    Fill out and submit VA Form 26-4555 at www.eBenefits.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you.

    To learn more, visit www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans or call 1-800-827-1000

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Veterans Benefits Administration

Disabled Veteran Housing Assistance

Veterans with certain service-connected or aging-related disabilities can get housing assistance. 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 or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more 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 whether your disability is service-connected or not. This grant provides medically necessary improvements and structural changes to your primary residence.

Vehicle Modifications and Training for Veterans with Disabilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs helps eligible veterans with disabilities modify their vehicles.

Benefits for Vets With or Without a Service-Connected Disability

  • If you’re a service member or veteran with a service-connected disability, you may qualify for an automobile allowance. The allowance can pay for:

  • If you’re a veteran with a non-service connected disability, you may be eligible for the Vehicle Modifications program. This program helps pay for equipment such as vehicle lifts and wheelchair tie-downs. It does not cover operational equipment like hand controls.

Find answers to specific questions about the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) and Vehicle Modifications programs.

Learn more about modifying a vehicle for a disability.

VA Driver Rehabilitation Program

If you qualify for either program, you are also eligible for driver training at VA locations around the country. Instructors use specially-adapted vehicles to train vets and service members with various disabilities.

Other services may include:

  • A pre-driving assessment
  • A behind-the-wheel assessment
  • An equipment evaluation
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Last Updated: August 29, 2019

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