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Survivors Pension Rates

If you qualify for survivors pension benefits, the amount you get will be based on the difference between your countable income and a limit that Congress sets (called the Maximum Annual Pension Rate, or MAPR).

  • Your countable income is how much you earn, including your salary, investment and retirement payments, and any income you may have from your dependents. Some expenses, like non-reimbursable medical expenses (paid medical expenses not covered by your insurance provider), may reduce your countable income.

  • Your MAPR amount is the maximum amount of pension payable to a Veteran, surviving spouse, or child. Your MAPR is based on how many dependents you have and whether you qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits. MAPRs are adjusted each year for cost-of-living increases. You can find your current MAPR amount using the tables below.

Example: You’re a qualified surviving spouse with 1 dependent child. You also qualify for A&A benefits. Your yearly income is $10,000.

Your MAPR amount = $16,506
Your yearly income = $10,000
Your VA pension = $6,506 for the year (or $542 paid each month)

Find your Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) amount

Date of Cost-of-Living Increase: December 1, 2016
Increase Factor: .3%
Standard Medicare Deduction: Actual amount will be determined by SSA based on individual income.

For qualified surviving spouses with at least 1 dependent:

If you have 1 dependent child and… Your MAPR amount is:
You don’t qualify for Housebound or A&A benefits $11,330
You qualify for Housebound benefits $13,249
You qualify for A&A benefits $16,506
You qualify for A&A benefits and you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran who served in the Spanish-American War (SAW) $17,006

Notes:

  • The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/Minimum Income Annuity (MIW) limitation is $8,656.
  • If you have more than 1 child, add $2,205 to your MAPR amount for each additional child.
  • If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $10,400 for 2017.
  • If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($566 for a surviving spouse with 1 dependent).

For qualified surviving spouses with no dependents:

If you have no dependents and… Your MAPR amount is:
You don’t qualify for Housebound or A&A benefits $8,656
You qualify for Housebound benefits $10,580
You qualify for A&A benefits $13,836
You qualify for A&A benefits and you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran who served in the Spanish-American War (SAW) $14,397

Notes:

  • The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/Minimum Income Annuity (MIW) limitation is $8,656.
  • If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount that’s above 5% of your MAPR amount ($432 for a surviving spouse with no dependent child).

For qualified surviving children:

If you’re… Your MAPR amount is:
A qualified surviving child $2,205

Get historic rate charts from past years.

Read the full regulations from Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations

3.23 Improved Pension Rates – Veterans and Surviving Spouses

3.24 Improved Pension Rates – Surviving Children

3.271 “Income” for VA Purposes (IVAP)

3.272 Exclusions from Income

3.272 Rate Computations