Which veterans are eligible for the pension benefit?

The pension benefit is a special benefit for veterans in Georgia and around the country who served during periods of war. This is a separate benefit from the 20-year retirement plan many service members qualify for.

To qualify, a person must have served in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, or the Gulf war. The requirements also include a minimum service time of 90 days on active duty during the dates of the war. Veterans younger than 65 must be totally disabled to qualify. There is no disability restriction for older veterans. Surviving spouses are also eligible for the benefits without a disability restriction as long as they remain single.

Additionally, the household the veteran lives in cannot have income in excess of the maximum pension rate. If the household's income is above the pension amount, the veteran will not receive benefits unless the household's income falls below the limit. If the household's income is less than the pension limit, a partial pension is given to bring the household's income up to the pension limit.

Special rules apply for medical expenses. Unreimbursed medical expenses are subtracted from the household's income for the purposes of calculating the pension limit. Qualified medical expenses may include insurance premiums, doctor's bills, home care, and assisted living.To qualify for a disability or medical costs exemption, the veteran must provide appropriate evidence to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a lengthy process that requires extensive paperwork.

Many potentially valid claims are denied due to missing documentation or other technicalities. Working with an attorney who has experience with veterans' benefits might improve the chances that all required documentation is submitted on a timely basis.

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