View Full Version : Special Pension for War Vets. Anyone have info or know about this?

07-03-10, 04:01 PM
From a 3rdReconHarborsiteNewsletter in 2009. I sure missed this the first time around:

Special Pension for War Veterans

Little-known benefit aids veterans of wars. Those who serve during conflict are eligible for up to $19,000 a year. By Paula Burkes February 8, 2009 A little-known veteranís benefit for long-term care expenses is available to wartime veterans and their spouses. But the benefit
is being overlooked by thousands of families, industry observers say. The Special Pension for Veteransí Aid and Attendance pays up to $1,644 a month, $19,736 annually, toward assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care for veterans 65 and older who served at least 90 days and one day during wartime ó stateside or overseas. Veterans and their spouses can receive up to $23,396 annually and spouses of deceased veterans, $12,681.

07-03-10, 04:44 PM

That's a new one on me. But I did find this

CORPUS CHRISTI ó Hundreds of retired wartime veterans 65 or older in Nueces County, or their surviving spouses, could be missing thousands of federal pension dollars each year. Most either don't know they're eligible or are befuddled by the 29-page application form, veterans and their counselors say.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' Form 21-526 -- a combined application for compensation and/or pension -- has seven pages of instructions, five pages of personal information required, two pages of compensation criteria to review, three pages of dependency questions and four pages for the actual pension application. This is followed with five pages of authorization to release information forms and three pages of required online application criteria.
"Imagine a granny or one of our many high school dropouts trying to navigate this process," said Claude D'Unger, a Korean wartime veteran who recently completed his application.
Veterans 65 or older who served at least one day during wartime, or their widows, are eligible for an average $12,000 in retirement money annually, and nationally there is about $22 billion unclaimed each year because Veterans Affairs has had a difficult time finding eligible recipients.
Of the 1.7 million Texas veterans, fewer than half receive the benefits they're entitled to, including pension funds, said John R. House, spokesman with the Texas Veterans Commission state office in Austin.
"The difficulty across the state is matching veterans with outreach services to help people know what they can get," House said. "Rather than digging into the mound of paperwork, it's best to contact a counselor."
D'Unger helped a neighbor, whose husband was a World War II veteran, get about $200 a month. She owns her home, has a savings account and some securities, and receives Social Security, he said. Some of her income offsets her pension eligibility. But savings or investments are only tallied against pension amounts the first year; Veterans Affairs counselors said that after then only the interest income is considered each year.
The Veterans Administration doesn't consider a home and up to five acres as an asset, said Carl A. Knappe, a counselor at the Texas Veterans Commission office in Corpus Christi. A lot of people also think if they receive above the maximum income allowed, about $1,000 monthly, they aren't eligible for pension funds, he said. "But medical and prescription costs that aren't reimbursed, including medical insurance costs, can offset the countable income and make someone eligible for pension income."
Knappe is one of four veterans' service providers in Corpus Christi who can help veterans or their surviving spouses apply for the tax-free pension funds.
Veteran Dick Prewitt, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Flour Bluff, has helped many people with the paperwork.
"When you say 'government' it frightens folks," Prewitt said. "Most people don't have any idea what's available. Those who come to me are usually eligible for some benefits, so people need to go seek it."