VA amends regulations on pension, other need-based programs

On Oct. 30, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced changes to its regulations governing entitlements to some need-based programs. VA pension and Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation will be affected by the amended regulations.

Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is an income-based benefit for the parents of servicemembers who died in the line of duty or from a service-connected injury or disease. VA’s pension program provides monthly benefit payments to certain wartime veterans whose income qualifies them for the program.

“The amended regulations bring consistency to the pension process and ensure benefits are available for veterans and survivors with financial need,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They will help maintain the integrity of and provide clarity to our needs-based pension program.”

The amendments to the regulations accomplish the following:

  • Establish a clear net-worth limit for income and assets for veterans to qualify for pension,

  • Establish a 36-month look-back period to review asset transfers at less than fair market value that reduce net worth and create pension entitlement,

  • Establish up to a five-year penalty period to be calculated based on the portion of the covered assets that would have made net worth excessive, and

  • Updates medical expense definitions for consistency with VA internal guidelines.

To learn more about VA Pension visit To learn more about Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation visit