The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers a Blind Veterans Pension program to help veterans who experience service-connected blindness. The program provides eligible Pennsylvania veterans with a $150 per-month pension.
“Most veterans transition from service to civilian world with little or no health challenges, but this is not the case for every veteran,” said Brig. Gen. (PA) Maureen Weigl, deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs. “That is where programs like the Blind Veterans Pension play a huge role. Any veteran with service-connected blindness should apply for this benefit and begin receiving the monthly premium they deserve because of their service to our nation.”
Eligibility criteria to receive the pension includes a veteran who:
- Served in the military honorably,
- Was a resident of Pennsylvania upon entering the military and
- Suffered a service-connected injury or incurred a disease that resulted in loss of vision.
Weigl points out that October is Blindness Awareness Month, the perfect time to remind veterans of their benefits and help as many eligible veterans apply as possible.
“The best place to start the application process is for veterans to contact their County Veterans Affairs Director in the county they reside,” said Weigl. “The county directors are accredited and can help veterans apply for their benefits, at no cost. Veterans never need to pay to apply for their benefits.”
To speed up the application process, veterans should have the following documentation when they apply:
- A copy of last military service DD-214
- Proof of Pennsylvania residency upon entering the military
- A United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability claim number