If you are a disabled veteran, you may wonder if you can get both veterans disability and Social Security benefits. The answer is yes; however, there may be exceptions and limitations to your benefits.
For help with your specific situation, contact VA disability and Social Security lawyer Marc J. Shefman at (888) 282-0719.
When Is a Veteran Eligible for Social Security Disability?
A U.S. veteran is eligible for Social Security, also called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), if they have worked five or more of the last 10 years. However, if you wait too long to apply for SSDI benefits, then you may no longer be eligible.
If you receive VA disability benefits, you may also receive Social Security Disability. However, if you receive a pension from the VA, then SSDI may cause you to be above the income limits for a pension and you will be disqualified from receiving it.
When Can I Receive VA Disability and Social Security?
Veterans do not commonly have VA disability claims and Social Security Disability claims at the same time. However, it is common to get VA disability benefits prior to applying for Social Security.
You may continue getting both at the same time. VA disability benefits are not based on income, so it will not be reduced.
Obtaining VA Disability and Social Security
At one time, if you had a very high VA disability rating (70% or higher), you had a better chance of being approved for SSDI. Federal courts found that VA disability ratings held a “great weight” in making a decision.
However, in 2017, the Social Security Administration (SSA) indicated that it would no longer take VA approvals into account when making decisions about SSDI. The VA also does not necessarily put much weight on a decision made by the SSA.
That does not mean that you cannot use the same evidence of disability for both programs. Both veterans disability and Social Security benefits require that you prove you are disabled. You may do this through similar medical records and other information.
Disability Under Social Security
In order to be found disabled under SSDI, you must meet the definition of “disabled.” That means:
- You are unable to do substantial work due to medical condition(s); and
- Your medical condition(s) must last or be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
If you are able to do any work, the SSA will not find you to qualify for SSDI.
In order to file for Social Security Disability, you can file a paper application or submit one online. You may also call or go in to an SSA office. A skilled attorney can help you make an application and submit all of the necessary documentation to improve the chances of your claim.
Disability Under VA
VA compensation may be paid if you are found to be a percentage disabled. Unlike SSDI, you do not always have to be completely disabled. A rating as low as 10% can get you compensation from the VA. For this reason, the SSDI may not take a VA disability decision as weight towards an SSDI decision.
You can file your VA disability claim online, in person, via phone, or with the help of a trained professional. It can be difficult to know what needs to be filed along with it. You should work with someone who understands the process.
Contact a Disability Lawyer Today
If you have questions about VA disability and Social Security benefits and how they impact one another, call attorney Marc J. Shefman at (888) 282-0719 today.