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Disabled? A Veteran? You may be entitled to SSD benefits

If you are a disabled veteran who receives VA compensation benefits, you may also be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Neither the SSD benefit nor the service-connected VA disability benefit can be reduced by the other if you are eligible for both. Veterans' disability benefits and SSD are two separate programs with different eligibility criteria.

If you meet the criteria for both, you can receive both benefits. However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and non-service connected disability payments are reduced by each other and by other benefit programs.

If you meet the criteria for both, you can receive both benefits. However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and non-service connected disability payments are reduced by each other and by other benefit programs.

SSD Benefits

How do you know whether you are eligible? To receive SSD benefits, you must have worked a full-time job for an employer or for yourself and paid into the Social Security system through your payroll taxes (FICA). In general, you must have earned over $4,000 each year to accumulate enough credits. The amount of your benefit depends in part on how much you earned. If you were under age 31 when you became disabled, your work requirement will probably be less.

In addition to these requirements, you must meet the government's definition of disability. For example, you must be ready to document your disability and show that you expect to be unable to work for at least 12 months in a row. The best way to do this is to have all the relevant medical documents and a doctor's opinion that attests to the presence and seriousness of your disability.

VA Disability Benefits

To receive VA disability benefits, you must be a veteran of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard, be disabled as a result of your service and have received a discharge that was not dishonorable. And, if you disagree with the VA's rating of your disability, you can file an appeal.

It sounds simple, and many people receive both SSD and VA benefits because they are unable to work. However, the path to obtaining those benefits is not always straight. For example, if the government determines that your disability was not the result of your military service, you may not be eligible for VA disability benefits. If you didn't work long enough in a civilian job, your SSD benefit may be reduced or you may be ineligible altogether. Obtaining either benefit can be time-consuming and frustrating.

That's why it is important to have an advocate who can help you navigate the system. At Binder & Binder®, The National Social Security Disability Advocates, we know how to deal with the government and its programs to ensure that clients receive all the benefits to which they are entitled because of a disability. One way we do this is by referring people who may also be eligible for veterans' disability benefits to The Rep for Vets® for help obtaining the compensation they need and deserve.

Source: Social Security Administration, "How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits," SSA Publication No. 05-10018, January 2011, ICN 454500.

2 Comments

i want to thank you very much for all you did to help me get my disability iwant to thank stacey h. in ny for all her help and joan p. in california for the great job she did at my hearing. thaqnks again to everyone. i would recommend you to anyone.

Congratulations on your Fully Favorable, Rose! We are so happy that we were able to help you through the disability process!

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