What happens with your VA compensation & pension when you go to jail?


Staff member
JVHV.com Account
It all depends. In very simple terms, you lose a good portion of it, but you could also keep it depending on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration. There are also instances when you, or your dependents rather, can keep it as well.

Disability Compensation​

If the Veteran is convicted of a felony and expected to spend 60 or more days in prison, the rate will be reduced to 10% from those already rated at 20% and higher while Veterans rated at 10% will be paid one-half that rate. Once released from prison, the Veteran's compensation & pension can be reinstated based upon the severity of the conditions at that time.

The Veteran will still receive compensation & pension if they are in a work-release program, staying in a halfway house/residential re-entry center, or under some form of community care.


The payment for a VA Pension should end on the 61st day of imprisonment in a local, State, or Federal penitentiary for a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. The pension can be started again after release if the Veteran still qualifies.

Apportionment to Spouse of Children​

After incarceration, all or part of a Veteran's compensation may be apportioned to the spouse, child or children, and dependent parents. This is awarded to the claimants on a case-by-case basis of those in need with the claimant's income, living expenses, and special needs, if any, taken into consideration.

More info...