Revolutionary War Pension Timelines
August 26, 1776
May 15, 1778
August 24, 1780
Pension legislation for widows.
October 21, 1780
Resolution of May 15, 1778, was amended to
September 29, 1789
The Federal Government assumed responsibility for State pensions. (This act, provided that invalid pensions previously paid by the States, under previous resolutions of the Congress, should be continued and paid for one year by the Federal Government. Other legislation would often extended this time limit.)
March 23, 1790
Veterans not already receiving invalid pensions under previous resolutions could apply for them directly to the Federal Government.
April 10, 1806
Veterans of State troops and militia service eligible for Federal pensions. This act would replace all previous Revolutionary War invalid-pension legislation.
March 18, 1818
Officers and enlisted men in need of assistance were eligible if they had served in a Continental military organization or in the US naval service (including the Marines) for nine months or until the end of the war. Pensions granted under this act were to continue for life.
May 1, 1820
Required every pensioner receiving payments under the 1818 act, and every would-be pensioner, had to establish a need for assistance. Any pensioner unable to prove the need for assistance would be removed from the pension list. They were allowed to reapply if there was a need for assistance by the act of March 1 1823.
May 15. 1828
Granted full pay for life to surviving officers and enlisted men of the Revolutionary War who were eligible under the resolution of May 15, 1778.
June 7, 1832
Last service pension act for Revolutionary War veterans. The act provided that every officer or enlisted man who had served at least two years in the Continental Line or State troops, volunteers or militia, Naval and Marine officers, were eligible for a pension of full pay for life.
Partial pay was granted to Veterans who had served less than two years, but not less than six months.
The act of 1828 and 1832 did not required applicants to demonstrate need. Under the act of 1832 money due from the last payment until the date of death of a pensioner could be collected by his widow or by his children.
July 24, 1836
Claims under the resolution of August 24, 1780, expired in 1794.
Widows were authorized the pension that would have been available to their veteran husbands when they were living, so long as they had married before he left service.
July 7, 1838
This act granted five-year pensions to widows whose marriages had taken place before January 1, 1794. These pensions were continued by acts of March 3, 1843; June 17, 1844; and February 2, 1848.
July 29, 1848
Congress provided life pensions for widows of veterans who were married before January 2, 1800. All restrictions pertaining to the date of marriage were removed by acts of February 3, 1853, and February 28, 1855.
March 9, 1878
Widows of Revolutionary War soldiers who had served for as few as fourteen days, or were in any engagement, were declared eligible for life pensions.
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