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Veterans benefits and Social Security Disability

There are two types of veteran's disability benefits. One is service connected - the disability is in some way related to something that happened in the service. The other is non-service connected disability. Service-connected disabilities have various percentages ranging from zero to 100 percent, while non-service disability is similar to Social Security in that either you are disabled or you are not. Service disability has no 'offset' provisions. You can receive the full amount of your Social Security Disability and your service-connected disability. Non-service connected is similar to SSI - it is a financial need test. The more assets you have, the less money you can receive. If you have a 100 percent service-connected disability, you will find that you are not financially eligible for SSI. On the other hand, if you met the earnings record, you could receive both 100 percent disability and also be found disabled by Social Security.


I receive a VA retirement pension & 100% TDIU disability. The TDIU disabililty was given to me after going thru the VA hoops & sitting thru a VA Board of Appeals. I was awarded 90% disabled before the VA granted me TDIU. My question is "Would I be eligible for SSA or SSI?" I last worked April 2001 but SS said I did not have enough work credits to receive SSA.

If you're receiving benefits through the VA, you may not be eligible for Supplemental Security Insurance benefits, which is needs-based. Social Security Disability benefits are based off of credits earned through working and paying FICA taxes...the Social Security Administration would be able to let you know if you've earned enough credits, depending upon the date you became disabled. Without knowing your information specifically, it is too difficult to let you know if you'd be eligible for either at this moment, but it is definitely worth looking into!

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