Basic Pension Medical Expenses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Marp, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    Hello -

    Can a widow of a Vietnam and Korea era vet apply for Basic Pension or is the Basic Pension only for veterans themselves?

    Also, we may be hiring in home help or moving my mother to an Assisted Living (and we'll stay away from those properties that don't qualify but say they do) so she can have assistance when needed. We're not sure a doctor will certify she needs that level of care permanently, thus we can't apply for A & A, but could she apply for the Basic Pension and use the costs of the in home care or the assisted living to reduce her countable income? The decision to get her help so far is a family decision because WE, not the doctor, believe it's necessary.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The "Basic" level of Improved Pension for a surviving spouse is $708.00. If her monthly income exceeds that amount, then she would not financially qualify for "Basic".

    If you move her into an ALF, or start with home care services coming in, then you should reconsider filing for her.
  3. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    Thank you for your help, Deb. If we start hiring in home help or move mom to an assisted living, her countable income will drop below the amount you mention. I just wanted to be sure we could use assisted living or in home help costs to reduce countable income for Basic Pension if a physician hasn't said she needs it. We think she does so we may do it for her and were hoping we could get even a tiny bit of help from the VA.
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    There is no physical component for the "Basic" level of this pension, so the medical expenses would actually not be counted. They are only counted at the Housebound and A&A level.

    At the basic level it is only intended to bring folks up to the Basic level. For your Mom as the surviving spouse, if her monthly income were below $708.00, then she would be eligible for the difference to bring her up to the $708.00.

    Just want to make sure you understand that at the Basic level, her expenses for care do NOT factor in.
  5. pinkb

    pinkb Newbie

    Yes! Survivors and dependents may qualify for the Survivors Pension. Here is some more information from the VA on spousal benefits and I hope this puts you at ease!

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