Can you apply for both SSD and VA Disability Benefits?

While the VA and SSA disability programs differ in their primary purposes, it is possible to receive both social security benefits and VA disability benefits at the same time.  It is important to remember that receiving one does not necessarily mean that you will receive the other.

VA Disability Benefits Purpose

VA disability benefits are a compensation program to pay benefits to veterans who incur an injury or contract a disease that is service-connected.  In other words, the injury or disease is the result of disability incurred in, presumptively related to, or aggravated by their military service.   The VA evaluates and rates each service-connected disability (injury or disease) with a percentage value from 0 to 100 according to an established schedule.  Multiple disabling condition ratings can be combined into a single combined rating. Disabled veterans with a combined rating of 10% or greater are entitled to Veteran’s Disability Benefits.

Social Security Benefits Purpose

SSD and SSI benefits are maintained as an income replacement program.  Beneficiaries consist of disabled works, disabled widow(er)s, and disabled adult children.  To be eligible for disabled-worker benefits, an individual must be insured for disability.  The Disability Insurance is based on the number of quarters of coverage the individual has earned in covered work and the recent that work was. Disabled widow(er) and disabled adult children benefits, on the other hand, are based on the earnings record of the worker on whom they were, or are, dependent.

The Interplay

Generally, a veteran can receive both Veteran’s Disability Benefits and Social Security benefits.  For example, a disabled veteran for is could qualify for SSD benefits as a disabled worker, disabled widow(er) or disabled adult child.  However, since military service is considered to be covered employment for SSD, the veteran would most likely qualify as a disabled worker and receive benefits on his or her own earnings record and could receive VA benefits at the same time.

It is important to remember that receiving one of these benefits does not guarantee the you will receive the other.  This may result because of differences in the way “disability” is defined by the SSA and the VA, the decision criteria and other factors.

Finally, it is also important to remember that a veteran generally cannot receive both a VA pension and Social Security at the same time.

If you are have questions about the veteran’s disability benefits or social security benefits, contact us now for a free initial consultation.



By knworman

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Posted in: Social Security Disability

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