Individual Unemployability / Pension

Improved Pension

Improved pension became effective January 1, 1979. It is available to wartime veterans who are totally and permanently disabled from disabilities not related with their service. Disability ratings may be authorized for congenital, developmental, hereditary or familial conditions. The permanence of the disability will be found when the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person. To qualify for this benefit a veteran must have had 90 days or more of active military service, one day of which was served during a period of war. There are specific criteria that must be met to qualify for pension. Your character of service, disability rating, household income, and assets are factors used in determining eligibility and your monthly monetary rate. Un-reimbursed medical expenses can be applied to reduce your household income to meet the guidelines. Check out the Individual Unemployability Flyer (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.

Pension Wartime Service Dates

PeriodFromToOther Criteria
Word War IIDecember 7, 1941December 31, 1946N/A
Korean ConflictJune 27, 1950January 31, 1955N/A
Vietnam EraAugust 5, 1964May 7, 1975N/A
Persian GulfAugust 2, 1990To be determinedN/A

Unemployable and Pension

Unemployable will be found to exist when it is determined that the veteran is unable to secure and follow substantially gainful employment by reason of a disability. When a total disability rating is based on unemployable, and there is evidence of marginal or intermittent employment, it is important to submit a detailed statement disclosing all facts about the work you perform, work days lost because of disability, job performance and limitations, pay, and any other special considerations.

Housebound Benefits for Pension Recipients

Housebound benefits will be considered to exist when the veteran is rated with one of the following;

  • Has a single disability that is rated at a 100% and has additional disability(s) rated at 60%,
  • Be totally disabled from a single disability and be permanently housebound.

Permanently housebound occurs when the veteran is substantially confined, as a direct result of his disability, to his house, ward, or clinical area, and it is reasonably certain that the circumstances will continue throughout their lifetime. Congenital, developmental, hereditary, or familial conditions may be considered. Income and asset limits apply, but are at a higher rate than pension.

Aid & Attendance Benefits for Pension Recipients

The need for aid and attendance will be considered to exist when the person is a patient in a nursing home, is blind or so nearly blind, permanently bedridden, or so nearly helpless as to require the regular aid and attendance of another person. It is not required that the need be constant, but rather needed regularly. Household income and asset limits apply, but are at a higher rate than pension.

Prior Pension

The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to administer 3 prior pension programs. Applications are no longer being accepted for these programs, with the exception of the Spanish-American War pension.

Section 306 Pension

Formerly referred to as "New Law" or Public Law 86-211. Anyone receiving 306 pension continues to receive the same rate of pension, as effective on December 31, 1978, as long as they remain eligible for pension. Income and net worth limits apply.

Protected Pension

Formerly referred to as "Old Law" was available for those receiving or entitled to receive pension on June 30, 1960. Monthly rates are based on income limitations.