U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 15, 2024
§ 1521.
Veterans of a period of war
(a)
The Secretary shall pay to each veteran of a period of war who meets the service requirements of this section (as prescribed in subsection (j) of this section) and who is permanently and totally disabled from non-service-connected disability not the result of the veteran’s willful misconduct, pension at the rate prescribed by this section, as increased from time to time under section 5312 of this title.
(b)
If the veteran is unmarried (or married but not living with or reasonably contributing to the support of such veteran’s spouse) and there is no child of the veteran in the custody of the veteran or to whose support the veteran is reasonably contributing, and unless the veteran is entitled to pension at the rate provided by subsection (d)(1) or (e) of this section, pension shall be paid to the veteran at the annual rate of $11,830, reduced by the amount of the veteran’s annual income.
(c)
If the veteran is married and living with or reasonably contributing to the support of such veteran’s spouse, or if there is a child of the veteran in the custody of the veteran or to whose support the veteran is reasonably contributing, pension shall be paid to the veteran at the annual rate of $15,493, unless the veteran is entitled to pension at the rate provided by subsection (d)(2), (e), or (f) of this section. If the veteran has two or more such family members, such annual rate shall be increased by $2,020 for each such family member in excess of one. The rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the veteran’s annual income and, subject to subsection (h)(1) of this section, the amount of annual income of such family members.
f annual income of such family members.
(d)
(1)
If the veteran is in need of regular aid and attendance, the annual rate of pension payable to the veteran under subsection (b) of this section shall be $19,736, reduced by the amount of the veteran’s annual income.
(2)
If the veteran is in need of regular aid and attendance, the annual rate of pension payable to the veteran under subsection (c) of this section shall be $23,396. If such veteran has two or more family members, as described in subsection (c) of this section, the annual rate of pension shall be increased by $2,020 for each such family member in excess of one. The rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the veteran’s annual income and, subject to subsection (h)(1) of this section, the amount of annual income of such family members.
(e)
If the veteran has a disability rated as permanent and total and (1) has additional disability or disabilities independently ratable at 60 per centum or more, or (2) by reason of a disability or disabilities, is permanently housebound but does not qualify for pension at the aid and attendance rate provided by subsection (d) of this section, the annual rate of pension payable to the veteran under subsection (b) of this section shall be $14,457 and the annual rate of pension payable to the veteran under subsection (c) of this section shall be $18,120. If such veteran has two or more family members, as described in subsection (c) of this section, the annual rate of pension shall be increased by $2,020 for each such family member in excess of one. The rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the veteran’s annual income and, subject to subsection (h)(1) of this section, the annual income of such family members.
(f)
(1)
If two veterans are married to one another and each meets the disability and service requirements prescribed in subsections (a) and (j), respectively, of this section, or the age and service requirements prescribed in section 1513 of this title, the annual rate of pension payable to such veterans shall be a combined annual rate of $15,493.
(2)
If either such veteran is in need of regular aid and attendance, the annual rate provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be $23,396. If both such veterans are in need of regular aid and attendance, such rate shall be $32,433.
(3)
If either such veteran would be entitled (if not married to a veteran) to pension at the rate provided by subsection (e) of this section, the annual rate provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be $18,120. If both such veterans would be entitled (if not married to one another) to such rate, such rate shall be $20,747.
(4)
If one such veteran is in need of regular aid and attendance and the other would be entitled (if not married to a veteran) to the rate provided for under subsection (e) of this section, the annual rate provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be $26,018.
(5)
The annual rate provided by paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection, as appropriate, shall (A) be increased by $2,020 for each child of such veterans (or of either such veteran) who is in the custody of either or both such veterans or to whose support either such veteran is, or both such veterans are, reasonably contributing, and (B) be reduced by the amount of the annual income of both such veterans and, subject to subsection (h)(1) of this section, the annual income of each such child.
(g)
The annual rate of pension payable under subsection (b), (c), (d), (e), or (f) of this section to any veteran who is a veteran of a period of war shall be increased by $2,686 if veterans of such period of war were not provided educational benefits or home loan benefits similar to those provided to veterans of later periods of war under chapters 34 and 37, respectively, of this title or under prior corresponding provisions of law.
(h)
For the purposes of this section:
(1)
In determining the annual income of a veteran, if there is a child of the veteran who is in the custody of the veteran or to whose support the veteran is reasonably contributing, that portion of the annual income of the child that is reasonably available to or for the veteran shall be considered to be income of the veteran, unless in the judgment of the Secretary to do so would work a hardship on the veteran.
(2)
A veteran shall be considered as living with a spouse, even though they reside apart, unless they are estranged.
(i)
If the veteran is entitled under this section to pension on the basis of such veteran’s own service and is also entitled to pension on the basis of any other person’s service, the Secretary shall pay such veteran only the greater benefit.
(j)
A veteran meets the service requirements of this section if such veteran served in the active military, naval, air, or space service—
(1)
for ninety days or more during a period of war;
(2)
during a period of war and was discharged or released from such service for a service-connected disability;
(3)
for a period of ninety consecutive days or more and such period began or ended during a period of war; or
(4)
for an aggregate of ninety days or more in two or more separate periods of service during more than one period of war.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1136, § 521; Pub. L. 86–211, § 3(a), Aug. 29, 1959, 73 Stat. 433; Pub. L. 87–101, § 1, July 21, 1961, 75 Stat. 218; Pub. L. 88–664, §§ 3(a), (b), 5, 6(a), 7, Oct. 13, 1964, 78 Stat. 1094, 1095; Pub. L. 90–77, title I, § 104, title II, § 202(a)–(c), Aug. 31, 1967, 81 Stat. 179, 182; Pub. L. 90–275, § 1(a), (b), Mar. 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 64, 65; Pub. L. 91–588, §§ 1(a), (b), 3(b), 9(c), Dec. 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 1580, 1583, 1584; Pub. L. 92–198, §§ 1(a), (b), 5(b), Dec. 15, 1971, 85 Stat. 663, 664; Pub. L. 93–177, § 1(a), (b), Dec. 6, 1973, 87 Stat. 694; Pub. L. 93–527, § 2, Dec. 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1702; Pub. L. 94–169, title I, §§ 102, 106(18), Dec. 23, 1975, 89 Stat. 1014, 1018; Pub. L. 94–432, title II, § 202, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1369; Pub. L. 95–204, title I, § 101, Dec. 2, 1977, 91 Stat. 1455; Pub. L. 95–588, title I, § 106(a), Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2500; Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, § 402(d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 239; renumbered § 1521 and amended Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404–406; Pub. L. 107–103, title II, § 207(b)(1), Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 991; Pub. L. 111–275, title VI, § 608(a), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2886; Pub. L. 112–154, title V, § 508(a), Aug. 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 1194; Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title IX, § 926(a)(19), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 3830.)
cite as: 38 USC 1521