Extra Cash as Supplemental Income for Low-income or No income Non-Service Connected Disabled or Service-Connected Disabled Wartime Veterans including National Guard and Reserve Veterans under certain circumstances…

By Terry Richards

SPECIAL NOTICE: As of September 17, 2001, Veterans 65 and older are conclusively presumed to be permanently and totally disabled for Pension purposes.  Therefore, a disability rating is not required to be granted entitlement to this Disability Pension.

SPECIAL NOTICEGrenada, Panama, and Nicaragua Combat Vets are NOT eligible for Non-Service Connected Disability Pension says VBA.


The VA’s Improved Non-Service Connected Pension also known as a VA Disability Pension is designed to supplement the income of Wartime disabled Veterans (Disability does NOT have to be Service-Connected).  VA considers Veterans 65 and over Disabled whether they are or not, and therefore they automatically qualify as long as they Served during a Period of War who had to give up career opportunities while they served their country during a Period of War (You did not have to be in Combat Zone to qualify), and, accordingly, were unable to advance their careers or accumulate enough resources to support themselves adequately after they became totally & permanently disabled from a non-service connected disability or reached age 65 or older.  Please duly note that this Pension is also for service-connected Veterans whose income is less than what the Non-Service Connected Pension pays as long as you were in the Service during a period of war.

As of September 17, 2001, Veterans 65 and older are conclusively presumed to be permanently and totally disabled for Pension purposes.  Therefore, a disability rating is not required to be granted entitlement to this Disability Pension.

Veterans who were never actually in combat or even in the area of a war zone are still eligible for this Pension, as long as they were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions, have active-duty service that includes a total of ninety days during one or more periods of war, or ninety or more consecutive days of which one day was during a period of war, or at least one day of wartime service that results in a Discharge for a Service-Connected Disability.

Veterans who entered service after September 07, 1980 must have served at least 24- months of active-duty service during a period of war to be eligible for this Pension, plus meet all other requirements for the Disability Pension.

NATIONAL GUARD & RESERVE MEMBERS:  The 24-months active-duty mentioned above does not apply to National Guard and Reserve Members who served at least one-day of active-duty during a period of war.  Active-Duty is defined as being called-up by the President of the United States (not the Governor of your state) for at least one-day of active-duty either within the United States or overseas during a period of war.  For the purposes of VA Benefits, weekend and yearly training sessions do not count as active-duty.

Additionally, the Veteran must be permanently and totally disabled, or at least 65 years of age (whether disabled or not) at the time of the application, have a limited income that falls below the threshold established by Law (which is a/k/a “the Maximum Annual Pension Rate” or “MAPR”) after medical, dental bills and travel/mileage deductions,  a net worth that does not provide adequate maintenance, and if totally disabled and under age 65, the disability must not be due to the willful misconduct of the Veteran.  Currently, this VA Pension or the MAPR pays $1072 per month in 2016 for single Veterans, and more for single Veterans with dependent children, and married Veterans with dependent spouses and children, and Veterans who are “housebound,” and/or in need of “aid and attendance.”

Disabled Veterans under 65 or Veterans 65 and over receiving Social Security Disability Income or Social Security Retirement Income under $985 per month, are still eligible for a partial VA Pension which will pay the Veteran the difference between whatever monthly income the Veteran receives and what the VA Pension Pays, as long as the Veteran meets all the other requirements.  For example:  If the single Veteran receives $885 per month income from social security disability insurance , the Pension will pay the Veteran another $100 per month based on the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) which once again, in 2010  pays $985 per month to single Veterans.

Even Veterans receiving Service-Connected Disability Compensation which pays them less than $985 per month and who have other Non-Service Connected Disabilities which prevent them from working full-time, may be eligible for this Pension.

DEDUCTIONS FOR VA & NON-VA MEDICAL, DENTAL & TRAVEL EXPENSES:  In 2016 after a $643.20 DEDUCTIBLE (or 5% of whatever the MAPR is for that year for single Veterans or Veterans with Dependents) The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will “ADJUST” the Veteran’s Pension in the Veterans favor of the Veteran for all out-of-pocket expenses paid by the Veteran or Dependents as set forth below regardless of whether the Veteran is receiving a FULL or PARTIAL PENSION.  Basically, this is a “REIMBURSEMENT” but the VBA does not like to call it that.

 EXAMPLE:  So in 2016, a single Veteran receives $1,072 per month or $12,864 per year X 5% = $643.20 Deductible.  The Veterans has $1,500 in medical, dental, vision, over-the-counter medications, Vitamins, Dietary Supplements, and travel costs.  After completing VA Form 21-8416 MEDICAL EXPENSE REPORT http://www4.va.gov/vaforms/ the VBA would adjust the Pension and then send the Veteran $856.80.

Usually, in January of the New Year VBA will send you VA form 21P-8416 –Medical Expense Report for you to complete so you can get your Pension ADJUSTED but you can file for an ADJUSTMENT at anytime during a calendar year that your said expenses EXCEED THE DEDUCTIBLE.  For Veterans or their families who only have social security disability or retirement income that is reported to the IRS and VA, the VBA will send them the annual Eligibility Verification Report (EVR).  Only if you have additional income will you receive an EVR.

However, as of 2013 the VA will not be sending out EVR’s to any Veterans due to new sophisticated computer matching equipment that can find income received by Veterans, et al, the VA announced…

THE “CATCH 22”:  The “catch 22” is that in order to get the adjustment/reimbursement, you have to have actually already paid for all these expenses on your out of your pocket or by a loan from a bank or finance company.  You cannot claim any of these expenses because you just owe the money to the doctor or dentist for example, you must have already paid the doctor or dentist.

If your bank loans you $1,000 for dental work and you pay them back at $50 per month including interest, you can only deduct the $50 per month, not the $1,000 they loaned you.  If your friends or relatives give you the $1,000 for the dentist as a gift, that counts as income and you are suppose to report it as income and then deduct it as an expense which evens it, out as long as you were already over the annual deductible.

Please duly note that I am just quoting the VBA’s RULES.


*Actual Transportation costs or 41.5 cents per mile in 2016, to and from VA or non-VA medical, dental, vision, hearing, etc.

*Medicare Part B & Part D Insurance Premiums.

*Co-payments not paid by Medicare Part B & Part D.

*Private Medical & Dental Insurance Premiums.

*Examinations, X-rays, treatments, and surgeries by any kind of Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctors of Osteopath (D.O.), Psychiatrists, Hospital Emergency Rooms, etc.

*Prescription medications including the cost of VA prescription medications if you are required to pay for them.

*Root canal Dental surgery, cavities filled, tooth extractions, dentures, regular and deep cleanings of teeth and gums, X-Rays, etc.  PLEASE DULY NOTE: Except for Humanitarian Emergency Dental Treatment, the VA will not help with Dental unless the Veteran is rated at 100% service-connected disabled or you’re receiving disability for dental problems of regardless of rating, among other things.  SEE STORY #154 on my Veterans Corner Website.

*Vision eye exams for new Prescription Lenses.  Regular and sunglass lenses and frames.

*Hearing tests and Hearing Aids.

*Blood Pressure and diabetic testing equipment.

*Wheelchairs, crutches, braces, etc.


*Lens cloths for cleaning eyeglass lenses.

*Alcohol swabs for cleaning Diabetic testing needles.

*Medicated powder for feet or hands, etc.

*Alcohol, peroxide, band aids, anti-biotic ointments to treat cuts and bruises.

*Anti-itch ointments.

*Breathing strips.

*Special mouthwashes recommended by your Dentist for treatment of gingivitis or periodontal disease.

*Blood pressure and diabetic testing equipments.

*Lactose non-dairy digestive pills for Lactose intolerance.

*Up to $500 per year in Vitamins or Dietary Supplements.

*Medications or natural supplements for Dry Mouth.

*And just about anything else for your medical, dental and vision health not listed above.

*PLEASE DULY NOTE:  If you’re not sure about whether you can take an expense/deduction for a particular item, declare it anyway, and VBA will determine whether it’s a legitimate expense/deduction.

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will as a MATTER OF LAW must “ADJUST” the Veteran’s Pension in the Veterans favor of the Veteran for all out-of-pocket expenses paid by the Veteran or Dependents regardless of whether the Veteran is receiving a FULL or PARTIAL PENSION so that the Veterans income does not fall below the “THRESHOLD” established by Law (which is a/k/a “the Maximum Annual Pension Rate” or “MAPR”) after medical, dental bills and travel/mileage deductions. 

If the Veterans income does fall below that above “Threshold” because of Medical and/or Dental and/or Medical/Dental Travel Related Expenses, with the exception of the “Annual Deductible” which in 2013 is 5% of the MAPR, it must be “ADJUSTED” so that the Veterans income = whatever the MAPR was for the year the Veteran is filing.
Basically, in layman’s terms this is a “REIMBURSEMENT” but the VBA does not like to call it that, they call it an “ADJUSTMENT”.

For further details or assistance, contact any Veterans Service Organization Claims Representative or your State’s Department of Veterans Affairs usually located at your nearest VA Medical Center or VA Regional Office.  Please note that you do not have to be a Member of a Veterans Service Organization to receive assistance or for them to represent you with your VA Claim. TO READ THE OFFICIAL VA VERSION ABOUT THE DISABILITY PENSION log onto: http://www.benefits.va.gov/PENSIONANDFIDUCIARY/pension/index.asp


Inclusions & Exclusions for Veterans receiving the Non-Service Connected  Disability Pension                                                               https://vnsla.com/2013/08/05/pensionincomeexclusions/