You can get both Social Security and VA benefits at the same time. The application process is completely separate, but you might want to get a lawyer to help you with both of them. Don’t be afraid to apply for both whenever you think you are ready. If the government has money to give you that you have a right to claim, read through our tips and get started right away.
Is a Social Security Disability Check like a VA Disability Check?
Veterans Disability is a monthly check given to veterans to help compensate them for an injury or disability they received because of their active service. It can also be because of the additional wear and tear that active duty brings on a person that already had a congenital knee or back condition that was made worse by carrying a 60 lb backpack every day. The disability can be from injuries received during a fight or even an injury while he or she was enlisted but on leave.
Veterans Disability payments are decided on a case by case basis depending on what kind of money you can’t earn because of your disability. If you can’t carry heavy weight with your arms and back, then there are certain jobs you can’t get, so the VA Disability is meant to make up for that.
Social Security is a completely different department and branch of the government than the VA. Social Security payments are given out because you are either over 65 or disabled in some way and can’t work anymore. Within the Social Security Administration, there are two different kinds of Social Security payments: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Is not Just for Civilian Disabilities
If you have worked long enough and paid into Social Security and you have a disability that keeps you from working, you might be ready for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). It doesn’t matter if your disability came from your time as a Service Member or not. This is the ‘disability’ that average people apply for when they can no longer work due to illness or injury.
If you have an illness or injury that was related to your time in the service, you can apply for SSDI to help pay for your living costs. you can also get social security and VA disability benefits at the same time. VA disability and social security disability come from two different boards that can only use the other board’s decision if it would help the applicant. That means the VA can’t use your denial by the Social Security Administration to deny your VA disability claim. If the SSA granted your claim, your VA disability lawyer can use that as evidence with the VA to say “Since the SSA recognized this as a disability, you should too, and here is how it was caused while she was in Iraq…”
Proving the fact that you have the disability is the hard part with the SSA. Proving that it was service connected is the hard part with the VA.
Supplemental Security Income Payments are Meant to Help You Just Get By
The payments from Supplemental Security Income are a lot less than the payments from the VA. It is hard to not live near the poverty line if you are just living off of Social Security and haven’t already paid off the mortgage on your home or have some retirement savings. SSI is not as hard to get, because it is simply based on income and age. If you’re broke and over 65, you can most likely get SSI.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) doesn’t have anything to do with how much money you used to make. It is strictly a monthly check to help you pay the bills. If you get any other monthly income like VA Disability, your SSI amount will be reduced. The idea behind SSI is that you should have a couple thousand dollars to live on each month, so if you get any from another source, SSI will be reduced so you don’t get much more. (The actual amount can vary depending on location, dependents, marital status, and more.)
Getting a VA Disability Check can Affect your Social Security
That means that if you win your VA Disability case, you might lose out on SSI benefits, but that is ok! VA benefits are always better than SSI because they are given for different reasons. You also don’t risk losing VA benefits if you receive other income or have retirement savings. Your VA benefits rest solely on your level of service-connected disability.
SSI is a survival check to help you maintain a minimal standard of living.
VA Disability is a check to compensate you for your disability during your sacrifice as a member of the armed services.
In Some Ways They Are The Same
The are a few ways that Social Security and VA Disability are the same. They are both decided on by a judge that you will never see face to face. They are both backed up in a slow government process, and you have a much better chance of getting either of them when you get the help of a lawyer.
Social Security lawyers get paid the same way VA Disability lawyers get paid, according to a percentage of the back pay that is awarded. Lawyers get 25% of Social Security backpay compared to 20% of VA Disability backpay. Woods and Woods never charges you any fees until we win your case. Until we get that award decision from the VA, all of our work for you is free.
What About SSDI and VA Disability?
SSDI is another type of Social Security payment. Getting SSDI involves proving with medical evidence that you cannot work. It is awarded by the Social Security Administration on the basis of your health and ability to work. It is not affected by other income or savings but you need to have paid taxes and worked in the US long enough. It can be denied if you are working too many hours a week or can still work. If you are a Veteran that already receives disability from the VA, though, you might also qualify social security disability benefits. Whether you receive VA benefits or not doesn’t affect your SSDI application.
If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and you are a veteran, you should call Woods and Woods and see if there are benefits you should already be getting from the office of Veterans Affairs. We take care of every part of the application process and we can even give you advice on your SSDI application.
Can I get SSDI and VA Disability for the Same Conditions?
Yes, you can actually ‘double dip’ and get compensation for the same condition from both the Social Security Administration and the VA. Benefits for Veterans are benefits for veterans, regardless of whether Uncle Sam is helping you in other ways or not. You might get some money from the VA for a disability that the Social Security Administration won’t pay for and vice versa.
You could get Social Security Disability for a musculoskeletal disorder but receive VA Disability for a COPD from working around burn pits in Afghanistan. They aren’t related, and they don’t conflict, so you can apply to each separate administration for each. The musculoskeletal disorder is a legitimate disability in the eyes of the Social Security Administration, but it didn’t have anything to do with your active service. The COPD might not be bad enough in the eye of civilians to give you disability, but the VA would grant it to avoid scrutiny over the burn pits.
Alcoholism and other forms of self-medicating area also frowned upon by the Social Security Administration (SSA) folks but are granted as a rating by the VA. Like we say all of the time around here, make sure you tell the VA a complete story of your life with your service-connected disability. As they see the ways that you are coping and living after your service, they will be able to make a better decision about your claim.
Social Security Doesn’t Have anything on 100% TDIU
While it takes a long time to get Social Security Disability Insurance and it takes even longer to get VA disability compensation, sometimes the two can work together to your advantage. Your Woods and Woods team can apply for expedited processing if they know you are working on applications to both administrations. We can also use evidence that you’ve used to receive social security for your VA disability appeal. Finding service-connected disabilities or even secondary-connected conditions are all part of our services for disabled veterans.
If you can get up to a 100% rating TDIU, have still haven’t maxed out your montly VA disability benefit. Your team at Woods and Woods will check to see if your eligibility date is correct. They will make sure you have an accurate compensation rating. They will also see if you qualify for any SMC or bilateral factor improvements. There is a lot to what the Federal government can do about disabilities and your military service.
Both SSDI and VA Benefits have Rules and Stipulations
There can be a long paper trail when it comes to applying for VA benefits or SSDI. We bring together doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, and other experienced professionals to work on your case. They all do the work at no charge to you until you win your claim. We will stay in touch with you through the process and answer any questions you or your spouse may have about your claim. We have advice for your C&P Exam and sometimes discover additional claims that you didn’t know you were eligible to receive.
Call us today at (866)232-5777 for your free claim evaluation. We’ll answer your questions about VA Disability and Social Security Disability at no charge at all.
Yes you can. Both boards aren’t allowed to consider whether you are getting money from the other administration. They can only rule if you should get benefits from their own office.
Yes, but it’s worth it because most of the time you get much more money from your VA Disability than you would from Social Security (SSI).
You can if you call Woods and Woods. They are two separate applications to two separate administrations, but you can let us handle the paperwork for you.
The VA wants to pay you for your service-connected disability. If you can prove your disability was related to your time in the service, they have money set aside to help you live a normal life.