Veterans with low incomes who are permanently and totally disabled, or are age 65 and older, may be eligible for monetary support if they have 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war. (Veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or officers who entered active duty on or after Oct. 16, 1981, may have to meet a longer minimum period of active duty). The veteran’s discharge must have been under conditions other than dishonorable and the disability must be for reasons other than the veteran’s own willful misconduct.

Pension benefit payments are made to bring the veteran’s total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by Congress.

You can apply for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension benefits online through the VA’s Veterans Online Application, by submitting an application by mail to the nearest VA Regional Office, or by contacting the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services for assistance. The VA also publishes a guide to Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents which lists the many types of VA benefits available.

If you qualify for a VA pension and you have a disability that meets certain criteria, you may also be eligible to receive an Aid and Attendance (A&A) or Housebound benefit. For more information on applying for A&A or Housebound benefits contact your local VA Regional Office or visit http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/pension/vetpen.htm#7.