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New Improved Pension With Special Monthly Pension (SMP)

In 1952 Congress created a non-service connected disability pension for Veterans under Title 38 of the United States Code to assist qualified Veterans or their Surviving Spouses to purchase un-reimbursed long-term care. On January 1, 1979 the “New Improved Pension” became effective and is the only program in which new applications may be filed. This Special Monthly Pension (SMP) can offset the cost of necessary health care. The two types of SMP are “Aid and Attendance” and “Housebound”.

Whether you’re moving into an Assisted Living or need help staying at home, your military service could qualify you for a VA non-service connected pension. A Veteran who served at least 90 days of active duty, with one day during a war time, is eligible to apply for this pension as long as he or she received an honorable or general discharge from the military. You will need to provide a Physician’s Report stating that you are in need of the regular assistance and care of another person to assist you with at least two of the following Activities of Daily Living: eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, toileting, ambulation, and or hygiene. This would also include individuals who are blind.  This is a non-service connected "pension" and is not dependent upon service-connected injuries for compensation.

homeWe receive phone calls every day from Veterans, Surviving Spouses, and families caring for a loved one that tell us “I’ve never heard of this pension are you sure it exists?” Or “I’m not eligible because I was not injured in the War.”

YES this pension does exist and Transitions for Veterans is on a mission to make sure every Veteran and Surviving Spouse knows about it. This little known and often misunderstood benefit is a “tax free” pension that may help offset the cost of Assisted Living, In-Home care, and Nursing Home care and is paid directly to the Veteran or Widow.

Veterans who are granted special monthly pension are eligible for free prescriptions through the VA. This additional benefit alone can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually.

With the Aid & Attendance pension Veterans and Surviving Spouses are able to purchase the care they need, select the services they require, and the provider that meets those needs.


  1. Age 65 or older or disabled (not due to willful misconduct of the veteran)
  2. Have an honorable or general discharge
  3. Served at least 90 days active duty with at least 1 day during any of the following:
    • WWII – December 7, 1941 thru Dec 31, 1946
    • Korea – June 27, 1950 thru January 31, 1955
    • Vietnam Conflict – August 5, 1964 thru May 7, 1975
    • Persian Gulf – August 2, 1990 to a date to be determined

  4. Have a medical diagnosis that requires daily assistance with at least two of the following ADL’s: bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, ambulation, and/or feeding.
  5. Limited income and net worth that does not provide adequate maintenance. Whether a veteran or a claimant has excessive net worth is determined on case-by-case basis, contact us for more information.

Maximum Pension Rates 2017

• Veteran with Spouse $2127
• Single Veteran $1794
• Veteran and Veteran Spouse $2846
• Surviving Spouse $1153

For further information on VA Benefits or a VA Medical Center serving your area please phone The Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-827-1000 or visit their website


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Transitions For Veterans is not a department of any state or federal agency and is in no way associated with the VA. Our service is to provide you with an assessment of your qualifications for benefits based on the criteria set by the VA.