Net Worth requirement for Non-Service Connected Pension
The other financial consideration for pension is "net worth." "Net Worth" limitations are based on the net worth of a Veteran. The test is whether or not the Veteran's "net worth" is able to provide adequate maintenance of the Veteran.
"Net worth" determination is also sometimes referred to as the "needs test". "Net worth or Needs test" is determined on a case-by-case basis. The VA uses the Veteran's and the Spouse's Social Security numbers to verify income and net worth information from all government sources. The VA's main source for financial information on Veterans is the IRS Income Tax Return(s).
The VA defines "net worth" or "corpus of estate" as the market value of the Veteran's home minus the mortgages or other legal liabilities on the property or personal property owned by the Veteran and/or Spouse.
The Veteran's single-family dwelling and reasonable personal effects are excluded. Unsecured debts are not a factor in determining VA "net worth".
It is to the advantage of the Veteran to be prepared to document the market value of their home by submitting to the VA either: a real estate broker statement, appraisal, or bank loan officer statement. The Veterans should also be able to document their mortgage balance and any encumbrances on the property.
The following example will illustrate how the VA determines "net worth."
The VA is known not deny "net worth" under $80,000. If the Veterans "net worth" is over $80,000, due to the high cost of living where the Veteran resides, the Veteran and/or Spouse should explain:
why their claim "should be approved by the VA" despite a net worth over $80,000
They should also detail the cost of living for the area,
They should document that if their net-worth assets were liquidated, given the area cost of living, the liquidated resources would be rapidly exhausted and the proceeds of the liquidated assets would be unable to sustain the Veteran for any period of time.