What Veterans Should Know About Social Security

Americans who participate in military service can suffer from mental and physical side effects lasting a lifetime. These veterans who’ve become disabled may be entitled to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Veterans who are already receiving VA benefits can potentially be eligible for either Supplement Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In order to qualify for SSDI, a veteran needs to fulfill the basic work history requirements and must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years. For SSI, a veteran must meet the income and asset limits established by the SSA.

Veterans who have a VA disability with the U.S. Department of Veteran can possibly qualify for additional disability benefits from social security. Sadly, if a veteran is receiving a pension from the VA and doesn’t fulfill the work history requirements, the veteran is not any longer eligible for SSDI benefits and merely qualifies for SSI. Remember it is great to bear in mind that SSI is an income-based program along with a veteran who has a pension may qualify for additional disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

How Does Social Security Disability Work?

A person applies for disability benefits at a Social Security office or online, and receives an initial decision within three to four months. (Veterans with service-connected disabilities can have their cases expedited by asking Social Security to file a form called I-2-1%95-95. Display – Vital Request Evaluation Sheet.)

The claimant’s file is then assigned to a disability examiner, a specialist who will assemble the claimant’s medical records and, afterward, in consultation with a physician and/or a psychologist who is delegated to the examiner’s unit, make an approval decision or denial choice. Regrettably, the judgment that is made is often a refusal. If the claim is accepted, the claimant is considered 100% disabled and will be paid either SSDI benefits based on their past wages or SSI benefits based on the total amount of income they’ve (only those with low income and low assets qualify for SSI).

In case the claim is denied, the claimant gets a reconsideration review and may follow the disability appeal process. Then, after a very long wait, the claimant can get a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). It can take an incredibly long time to truly have a hearing date set. Depending on which portion of the nation the claimant resides in, and backlogged the local hearing office is, it may take a year or longer to have a hearing date. Asking Social Security to expedite your case for a service-connected disability can help.

When Are Veterans Eligible for Social Security Disability?

You are only eligible for disability benefits from Social Security (called Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI) if you have worked full-time at least five of the last ten years. You may no longer be capable of receiving them, in the event, you wait too long after you stop working before you apply for Social Security benefits.

Often you can receive Social Security disability benefits in addition to any impairment compensation you are paid by the VA. On the other hand, in case you have a VA pension, Social Security payments may put you above the income limitations of the system and disqualify you for your pension.

Who Can Receive VA Benefits?

Generally, most VA benefits programs have two overarching requirements. Firstly, the applicant should have participated in active service. Secondly, if they aren’t any longer serving, they need to have been discharged under conditions other than “dishonorable.”

Active military service commonly applies to those serving full-time in the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard, in Reserve branches or the Army National Guard and who have been activated for duty, or cadets and midshipmen enrolled at official U.S. Military, Air Force U.S. Naval or Coast Guard academies.

Moreover, in some scenarios, enrollment service in certain other designated national organizations or even having gone through armed forces training, at a military or Coast Guard academy prep school can qualify as active service for purposes of establishing VA benefits eligibility.

Honest discharges, most general discharges, and discharges under honorable conditions can suffice. Every VA program has particular conditions and exceptions, however. Moreover, the VA is frequently willing to appraise program eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Concurrent Retirement And Disability Payments (CRDP)

Some individuals could be qualified to receive both a pension and disability payments at exactly the same time if they have both served more than 20 years of active service and incurred a service-connected disability of 50% or more.

Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSP)

Particular military retirees might qualify for CRSP benefits should they’ve served at least 20 years or are on medical retirement, have a service-connected and battle-related impairment and have entire handicap rating that is higher or 10%.

VA Health Care And Nursing Home Care

Most veterans who meet the minimum general requirements can receive VA health care, even if they truly are being treated for a condition unrelated to service. The single constraint is that people who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or who entered active duty on October 16, 1981, must have performed two continuous years of service. That discharged non-dishonorably for a service-connected disability or hardship may also be eligible.

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