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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Veteran Affairs | December 2008 

VA Low Income Pension - Do You Get It?
email this pageprint this pageemail usDavid Lord - PVNN

Veterans can actually live and prosper in Mexico on the meager pension verses living in poverty and simply prolonging the misery of old age.
The importance of understanding a benefit is the basic core of my Voluntary Service, I do my best to review those laws that are in place which regulate receiving benefits, i.e., the dollars that Veterans are entitled to by law - that is, if they know the laws.

One of the most important benefits is the Low Income Pension made available to the poorest of the Veterans population as a whole. It is much more important here in Mexico verses the United States because the Veteran can actually live and prosper in Mexico on the meager Pension verses living in poverty and simply prolonging the misery of old age in the US.

The law says that if you have income below the poverty level for veterans, which by the way is less than half of that of the nationally set poverty level, if you have served America during a period of War and you meet these standards for Low Income Pension, (meaning you will be earning less that eleven thousand dollars per year if you're single, or if married, under fourteen thousand seven hundred per year,) then at age sixty-five and unable to work, you may qualify for, and be entitled to, this benefit.

I am sure that many Veterans living in the U.S.A. wish they were here in Mexico to enjoy their retirement years in the healthy environment of Puerto Vallarta. They could actually have a maid or person to aid them in daily living and still have sufficient funds and make valuable contributions to the community at large, after they have enjoyed the beach and had a fine fresh cooked meal. If American veterans could just get away from all the junk food they would greatly enhance they retirement years.

If the truth was known about living in Mexico, and how affordable it is for Americans, I know their quality of life would sky rocket and place real value in their life. The way for families to succeed is to have a Veteran of retirement years learn the ropes about living abroad. This has the added benefit of actually lessening the financial burden on them by replacing their hard-earned income with a Government grant that is legally owed the Veteran.

The benefit also enhances the well-being and independence of the veteran by releasing the loved one from begging for a few bucks just to get by each month. I can erase the stress placed on families with a simple education on Veterans benefits as they pertain to veterans living in Mexico and or Latin America.

Most families are unaware of the benefits available and the way in which those apply in Mexico because the only headlines Mexico gets is the murder rate of the drug gangs along the border. It is a real shame that the value we Americans place on independence is erased by the sensational headlines of the press, let alone that access to their benefits is provided free of charge.

So those of you that live here and know of a Veteran that may be having a hard time in the U.S.A. give my email address to them, you may change their life for the better if they are mobile and not afraid of adventure. This is one way to provide real aid. So knowing that a V.A. Pension is intended for a vulnerable group of Veterans, the general requirements are low income, low net worth, service during war time, and a permanent and total disability.

However, since 2001 Veterans age sixty-five or older are automatically considered permanently and totally disabled, you may want to look up the law found in the code of Federal Regulations Title 38 U.S.C. section 1513.

The secret not told in that section is that there are special benefits in addition that may entitle a veteran to special monthly compensation (SMC) when they are in fact disabled and dependant on outside help, called aid and attendance. SMP is a monthly payment that may be awarded in addition to the basic non-service-connected disability pension benefit.

Remember, folks, not all benefits are paid just to veterans that have been injured while on active duty, many others exist for their lifetime. With SMP the additional income it provides to exceptionally disabled veterans will definitely help. For 2007 the special monthly pension benefit is at minimum, about $2,250 higher than the basic pension benefit for 2007 for a single veteran with no other income is $10,929 but with SMP it would be $13,356 and we are gaining this January 2009 an increase of 5.8% by a cost of living increase, called c.o.l.a. So families and friends of veterans contact me if you think I can help by my free legal aid for veterans.
David Lord has been a National Veterans Service Officer doing veteran's benefits in Mexico for over a decade. David is a combat veteran, wounded by gunshot in Viet Nam 1968 and is a retired Marine. The Veterans Administration has played a critical role in his life, by his having both medical and compensation benefits. He uses his personal experience in the claims process along with having legal and credentialed Accreditation by the Department of Veterans Affairs. His use of Congressional approved Veterans Organizations, to steer veterans and dependants through the maze of regulations and entitlements due them from military service is outstanding. For more information, email him at david.lord(at)

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