Can I Get Both SSDI & VA Disability Benefits in Waco?
When you were ready to give all of yourself by serving in the United States armed forces, the government was more than willing to accept your sacrifice and dedication.
Now that you’re a veteran with illnesses or injuries to cope with, it’s America’s turn to support you.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides disability benefits that can keep you and your family on stable financial ground when you have health problems related to your service.
And Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is designed to help you when you can’t work because of severe health problems from any cause.
Can you get both at the same time?
But each one is a separate program with separate rules and different ways of defining “disability.” So it’s not simple.
You put nation above self during your military career. Now it’s time to put your needs first.
Merryl Jones, the Second Chance Lawyer, helps you navigate Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) even if you have, or are applying for, VA Disability benefits in Waco and Temple—so you can secure the life you fought for and earned.
How Do SSDI and VA Disability Benefits Affect Each Other?
You’re allowed to receive payments from both the SSDI and VA disability programs. In fact, you could receive either SSDI if you have a substantial work history, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you meet the income limits—along with VA benefits.
Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy.
You have to qualify for disability under the different rules and regulations of each program:
VA Disability Benefits
A major difference between Social Security and VA disability benefits is that the VA recognizes levels of severity of your disability, from 10% to 100%, and awards benefit amounts on a scale depending on your percentage.
The central requirement is that your health problems stemmed from your service.
VA Disability benefits are considered to be obligatory compensation for your service, so they may be easier to win than SSDI.
To Social Security, where the standard is your inability to work—regardless of when or how your health problems started—you either have a fully qualifying disability—or you don’t at all.
SSDI is a form of insurance, funded by taxpayers, where the burden is on you to prove you deserve benefits.
In your application for SSDI, you need to show that your condition matches Social Security’s definition of a “disability:”
• You can’t do substantial work of any kind because of your health problems.
• Your condition is expected to last at least a year, or it could potentially lead to death.
Even if you have a 100% VA disability rating, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive SSDI benefits. However, with a 100% VA rating, Social Security will expedite your SSDI application, which is important because it can take a long time to get a decision from Social Security.
While the two programs will decide on your disability benefits independently, they will share medical evidence in your file with each other.
The benefit amounts you receive from each program are also mostly independent of each other. With one exception: SSI is based on your level of financial resources, so VA benefits will count as income, reducing your amount from SSI.
Disability attorney Merryl Jones and her team can help you sort out your options.
How Does My Military Retirement Affect My SSDI Benefits?
To decide if you qualify for SSDI, Social Security considers whether you have any income from working.
If you earn too much from working, Social Security will conclude your disability isn’t serious enough to warrant benefits.
If you receive military retirement income, however, that doesn’t count against Social Security Disability—because it’s not income from working.
So you can receive military retirement and Social Security Disability benefits.
Social Security Disability benefits generally only last until you reach Social Security retirement age. At that point, you switch over to Social Security retirement benefits.
SSI disability benefits, however, work a little differently. SSI considers your financial resources in deciding if you qualify, not just income from working. So military retirement income could disqualify you from receiving SSI benefits, or reduce the amount you receive.
Get Help Navigating the SSDI and VA Disability Process
Don’t let a small oversight keep you from getting all the benefits you deserve for a life of hard work and service.
With 98 percent of her clients successfully winning Social Security Disability benefits, including people from all backgrounds, military veterans among them, Merryl Jones helps you navigate the benefits process with ease and dignity.
It’s time to secure your financial stability and your future.