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Comp and Pen


“Comp and Pen” refers to Compensation and Pension within the context of VA benefits. It involves evaluating veterans’ disabilities that are related to their military service and determining the appropriate level of financial compensation, as well as providing pension benefits to qualifying veterans. The evaluations ensure that veterans receive proper benefits for their service-related injuries or illnesses.

Key Takeaways

  1. Comp and Pen stands for Compensation and Pension, two primary VA benefit programs focused on providing financial support to veterans with service-related disabilities or eligible dependents.
  2. Compensation provides monthly payments to veterans with service-connected disabilities, while Pension offers financial support to low-income veterans with non-service connected disabilities and who served during a period of war.
  3. To apply for Comp and Pen benefits, a veteran or qualified dependent must submit an application and provide necessary documentation supporting their claim, such as medical records and evidence of military service.


The VA benefits term “Comp and Pen” stands for Compensation and Pension, and it is crucial for veterans as it encompasses the two primary categories of financial assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Compensation pertains to monetary benefits awarded to veterans who have experienced disabilities or injuries during their military service, directly helping them cope with the resulting challenges.

Pension benefits cater to veterans with lower incomes who may require additional financial support, particularly those who served during wartime.

Both compensation and pension benefits ensure veterans receive the proper resources they need for tackling health, economic, and social issues stemming from their service, underscoring the significance of the term “Comp and Pen” in the support system available for veterans.


The primary purpose of Comp and Pen, short for Compensation and Pension, lies in providing financial and healthcare assistance to veterans who have acquired injuries or illnesses during their service in the military or other applicable fields. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to assist these individuals by offering tax-free monetary compensation and access to vital healthcare resources.

These benefits are intended to aid veterans in leading a comfortable life after their service by helping to account for the physical, mental, and economic challenges they may face due to their service-connected disabilities. Comp and Pen examinations are a crucial component of the VA benefits claims process as they assess the extent of a veteran’s disabilities and identify their eligibility for these specific benefits.

Medical professionals appointed by the VA conduct the examinations, allowing them to understand the service member’s health conditions and how they have been affected by their time in service. The results of these exams are then utilized to determine the appropriate level of compensation and pension that a veteran may receive.

This allows the VA to ensure that each recipient is adequately supported based on their unique circumstances, ultimately enabling veterans to access the vital resources they need for a healthier and more secure future.

Examples of Comp and Pen

The VA Benefits term “Comp and Pen,” which stands for “Compensation and Pension,” refers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs that provide financial assistance to eligible veterans who have disabilities or service-related injuries. Here are three real-world examples related to the Comp and Pen:

Service-connected Disability Compensation: A veteran who has a disability that was incurred or aggravated during active military service may be eligible for disability compensation. For example, a soldier who was injured in a roadside bomb explosion while on a tour in Afghanistan might experience chronic back pain, hearing loss, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The VA assigns a disability rating based on the severity of the disability, and the compensation paid is determined by this rating.

Non-service connected Disability Pension: The VA also offers pension benefits to veterans with disabilities that are not related to their military service. For example, a veteran who served during World War II may develop severe arthritis later in life, which is unrelated to their military service. If the veteran meets the income and net-worth limits established by the VA, they may be eligible for a pension to help supplement their income and assist in covering medical expenses.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): If a veteran dies as a result of service-related injuries or conditions, their surviving spouse, children, or other qualifying dependents may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. For example, a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and later develops a terminal illness related to the exposure may pass away due to the service-related disease. The veteran’s surviving spouse and children could potentially receive DIC to help offset the financial burden brought on by their loved one’s death.

Compensation and Pension (Comp and Pen) FAQ

1. What is Comp and Pen?

Compensation and Pension (Comp and Pen) refers to the benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans and their dependents. It includes two main programs: disability compensation and pension. The disability compensation program provides financial support to veterans with service-connected disabilities, while the pension program provides financial assistance to wartime veterans with limited income and disability not related to their military service.

2. How do I apply for Comp and Pen benefits?

To apply for Comp and Pen benefits, you can submit an application online through the VA’s eBenefits website, visit a VA regional office and file in person, or mail a completed VA Form 21-526EZ (for disability compensation) or VA Form 21P-527EZ (for pension) to your local VA regional office. You can also work with an accredited representative or Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to help you file your application.

3. What documents do I need to submit for my Comp and Pen application?

When applying for Comp and Pen benefits, you’ll need to provide the VA with the following documents:

  • Proof of your military service (DD214 or other separation documents)
  • Medical evidence supporting your claim (service treatment records, VA medical records, or private medical records)
  • Dependency records (if you’re claiming benefits for your family members)
  • Direct deposit information (bank account number and routing number)
  • Any additional forms or documents required based on the specific benefit you’re applying for

4. How long does it take to process my Comp and Pen claim?

The processing time for Comp and Pen claims varies depending on factors such as the complexity of your claim, the availability of supporting documents and evidence, and the current backlog of applications at the VA regional office handling your claim. However, the average processing time for a Comp and Pen claim is about 3 to 6 months. It may take longer if the VA needs additional information or evidence to support your claim.

5. Can I appeal a decision if I disagree with my Comp and Pen benefits determination?

Yes, if you disagree with the VA’s decision on your Comp and Pen claim, you have the right to appeal. You can file an appeal by submitting VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement (NOD), within one year from the date of the VA’s decision letter. You can choose to represent yourself, request a VA-appointed attorney, or utilize the services of an accredited representative or VSO in the appeals process.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Disability Compensation
  • Pension Benefits
  • Service-connected Conditions
  • Veterans Disability Claims
  • Compensation and Pension Exam

Sources for More Information