Social Security Benefits For Veterans
Veterans of the United States Armed Forces have done our country — and community — a great benefit through their service. And they absolutely deserve to receive Social Security Disability benefits to assist with their financial needs.
At The Law Center for Social Security Disability, we believe strongly in supporting our veterans. They deserve the best legal advocacy possible when pursuing the benefits they deserve — and I strive to provide that exceptional legal guidance on a daily basis. My name is Gary Jones, and for 30 years I have dedicated my life to helping disabled individuals in the greater Oklahoma City get their fair share of Social Security benefits.
With Our Help, You Don’t Need To Fight For Benefits Alone
The benefits system for veterans is vast and confusing for the unwary. Let’s take a look at a few of the questions veterans often have about applying for Social Security Disability.
FAQ 1. Can I get both Veterans Disability and Social Security Disability? Yes, it is not unusual for veterans to receive VA disability benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time. Many veterans may also qualify for a VA pension and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), although the disability compensation programs are usually more generous than the pension and SSI programs.
FAQ 2. Isn’t VA disability and Social Security disability the same thing? No, they are separate programs and they are administrated very differently. One big difference is that a veteran doesn’t have to be totally disabled to get VA disability, whereas a person needs to be completely disabled to qualify for SSDI benefits — there is no partial disability rating for SSDI purposes. Another difference is the “treating physician” rule — in SSDI, the medical opinion of the veteran’s treating physician is given deference, while the treating physician’s opinion is not given deferential weight in a VA disability claim.
FAQ 3. Does getting benefits in one program help get benefits in the other? While VA disability approval can help get SSDI benefits (e.g., a high VA disability rating increases your chances of having an SSDI application approved), having SSDI benefits does not necessarily help get VA disability benefits (e.g., the VA may not give the SSDI decision much weight if it’s unclear whether the disability is service-connected). It’s important to note that qualifying for one type of benefit does not automatically qualify you for the other type of benefit.
FAQ 4. When am I eligible for SSDI? Veterans are eligible for SSDI benefits if they have worked full-time for at least five of the last 10 years. However, you may not be eligible for SSDI benefits if you wait too long to apply after you stop working.
FAQ 5. How much will SSDI benefits pay me? The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your monthly SSDI benefit amount based on your earnings history in both civilian and military occupations. The SSDI amount is not determined based on the severity of your disability, but rather on whether your disability prevents you from working — if it does, the SSA uses a complicated formula to calculate your benefit amount.
FAQ 6. Does the SSA fast-track SSDI benefits decisions for vets? Yes, for some. Certain wounded warriors and 100 percent P&T veterans are entitled to expedited processing of their Social Security claims.
FAQ 7. Do I need a lawyer to help me get SSDI benefits? Having a qualified, experienced, local attorney help you with the SSDI process is always advisable. An attorney can help increase the odds that your initial application will be approved, and if you need to appeal an adverse SSA decision, your chances of winning benefits increases with an attorney.