The 2017 Veterans Pension rates saw .3% increase over 2016 and was effective December 1st, 2016.
The 2018 Veterans Pension rate increase will not be announced until mid-October 2017 when COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) for the third quarter are released. See our COLA increase watch for the most recent estimates and updates.
Veterans Pension rate increases are determined by Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLA).
2017 Veterans Pension Dates:
Effective Date: 12/01/2016
First Paycheck: 12/31/2016
Veterans Pension increase: .3%
2017 Standard Medicare Deduction: Actual amount determined by SSA based on individual income.
The table below are the Maximum Annual Pension Rates and the VA pays the difference between countable family income and the yearly income limit based on a veterans situation below. The amounts listed below are annual amounts, the actual payments are made monthly rounded down to the nearest dollar.
Veterans Pension Rate Table
Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) Category Amount
If you are a veteran... Your yearly income must be less than...
Without Spouse or Child $12,907
To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR, or, $ 645
With One Dependent $16,902
To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR, or, $842
Housebound Without Dependents $15,773
Housebound With One Dependent $19,770
A&A Without Dependents $21,531
A&A With One Dependent $25,525
Two Vets Married to Each Other $16,902
Two Vets Married to Each Other One H/B $19,770
Two Vets Married to Each Other Both H/B $22,634
Two Vets Married to Each Other One A/A $25,525
Two Vets Married to Each Other One A/A One H/B $28,385
Two Vets Married to Each Other Both A/A $34,153
Add for Early War Veteran (Mexican Border Period or WW1) to any category above $2,932
Add for Each Additional Child to any category above $2,205
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2000 $7,200
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2001 $7,450
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2002 $7,700
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2003 $7,800
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2004 $7,950
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2005 $8,200
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2006 $8,450
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2007 $8,750
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2008 $8,950
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2009 $9,350
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2012 $9,750
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2013 $10,000
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2014 $10,150
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2015 $10,300
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2016 $10,350
Child Earned Income Exclusion effective 1/1/2017 $10,400
To calculate the 2018 Veterans Pension rate increase, if any, the average of the indices of July, August, and September 2017 will be compared with the 2016 3rd quarter average.
VA Veterans pension helps veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension benefit. It is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans. Veterans must have at least 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period to qualify for a VA Pension. For those who entered active duty after September 7, 1980, service must have been at least one day during a wartime period and 24 months or the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty (with some exceptions).
Additional eligibility criteria for the Veterans Pension in addition to service requirements:
- Age 65 or older, OR
- Totally and permanently disabled, OR
- A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
- Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income
Family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit. The pension benefit is the difference between “countable” income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. The Department of Veterans Affairs generally pays this difference in 12 equal monthly payments.
Glossary of Terms
- A & A – Aid & Attendance – A&A is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension.Require the aid of another person to perform activities of daily living OR be blind or meet other specific visual acuity requirements OR be a patient in a nursing home because of physical and/or mental incapacity.
- Child Earned Income Exclusion – Excluded earnings amount from a dependent child.
- Countable income – Includes income from most sources as well as from any eligible dependents. It generally includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividend payments from annuities, and net income from farming or a business. Some expenses, such as unreimbursed medical expenses, may reduce countable income.
- Housebound – Qualifications: 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 pension has been granted based on the veteran being age 65 or older.
- MAPR – Maximum Annual Pension Rate – The MAPR is the maximum amount of pension payable to a veteran, surviving spouse or child. MAPR fluctuates based on individual circumstances related to number of dependents and if Housebound or Aid & Attendance qualifications. The MAPR is reduced for each dollar of income that the veteran, surviving spouse, child, or their families have.
- MBW – Mexican Border War.
- Net worth – Includes assets such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and any property other than your residence and a reasonable lot area. VA will determine whether assets are of a sufficiently large amount that one could live off of them for a reasonable period of time.
- Veterans Pension – Tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans.