The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) manages two disability benefits programs: disability compensation and pensions. Both programs provide tax-free monthly payments to qualifying veterans. But, there are different eligibility requirements. This article concerns non-service-connected VA pension benefits. What is a VA Pension? The VA pension was created to compensate disabled or elderly veterans who volunteered to serve their country during a time of war. How is Eligibility Determined? Benefits are awarded after three requirements are satisfied: 1. Wartime service.