Veteran Pension — What Does “Wartime” Veteran Mean?

Veteran Pension — What Does “Wartime Veteran” Mean for VA Pension (Aid & Attendance)?

Wartime veteran questions answered here

Find out about what wartime veteran means

We have talked about the “Veteran Pension” or “Non Service Related Disability” or “Aid and Attendance Benefits” and one requirement is the veteran must have served during a time of war.  This is also called the “Wartime Veteran” requirement for this veteran pension.

Let’s talk about what wartime veteran means and what it doesn’t mean.

Wartime Veteran DOES mean that the veteran had to be active duty (at least one day) during the time periods recognized by the government as being a time of war.

For example — World War II; Korean War; Vietnam War; and the Gulf War.

It also means (except for Gulf War) that the veteran had to be active duty for 90 days.  For a Gulf War veteran the time period is normally 24 months or finishing the active duty commitment.

It DOES NOT mean the veteran had to be in combat.

Wartime veteran does not mean the veteran had to be “in country” in Europe/Asia (World War II) or Korea or Vietnam.

The veteran could have been stationed in Alabama or anywhere else — the critical factor is to simply be active duty during the war.

So, what are the dates for the wartime periods?

  • World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946.  (If in Service on December 31, 1946 with continuous Service before July 7, 1946, then this qualifies as wartime service.
  • Korean War – June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War – There are two periods:  For veterans who served in the country of Vietnam, the period is February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975.  For veterans who did not actually go into Vietnam, the time period is August 5, 1964 through May 5, 1975.
  • Gulf War — August 2, 1990 to the present.

There are other requirements that we will cover in our other articles in this series.

Just remember though that the requirement of “wartime veteran” does not mean in combat — it simply means being a veteran, active duty, while a war occurred.

Remember this benefit can provide up over $25,000 a year in tax free benefits to a veteran with one dependent (a spouse is counted as a “dependent” by the VA).  It also provides benefits to surviving spouses of war time veterans.

This money can be a tremendous help in providing home health care or assisted living care to avoid having to go to a nursing home.

Contact Us If You Have Questions. 

If you live in Alabama and have any questions about this requirement or in general about the VA Pension (or “Aid and Attendance”) let us know.

Also, if you’d like more information about the VA pension, you can check out our elder law website at 

You can give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.

Or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can.

I look forward to chatting with you!

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts


  1. Yahunna Wadley says:

    My husband was in the Gluf War but he has pass he was in 1980 to 1990 does this qualify me as a veteran widow thanks.

    • John Watts says:


      Generally the Gulf War is considered to have started on August 2, 1990 for VA Pension purposes. When did he leave the military?

      Did he have an honorable discharge?

      I assume you have not remarried and you were married to him at the time of his death?

      Lots of rules involved but first step is to look at his DD214 as this will tell you exactly when his service ended.

      Contact me directly if have any questions or leave another comment.


      John Watts

  2. scott smith says:

    I would like more information about this benifit I served 2/72 to 2/76

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