Can You Get SSDI Benefits If You Already Get Veterans Disability Benefits?

by Staff | November 23rd, 2020

Both private citizens and members of the U.S. military have safety nets if they suffer injuries or illnesses that prevent them from working.

Private citizens pay into the Social Security Administration (SSA) with every paycheck. Most workers recoup that money when they retire and begin receiving retirement benefits, which last for the rest of their lives. However, some workers need the money much earlier if they suffer injuries or illnesses that put them out of work for at least one year. These benefits are paid via Social Security Disability Insurance.

Military service members are also eligible for replacement income if they suffer disabling injuries or illnesses as part of their military service. These checks are called VA disability compensation, and the amount of money they provide varies depending on each veteran’s total disability rating.

Many People Meet the Criteria for Both Types of Benefits

VA disability benefits aren’t limited to people who are totally disabled and unable to work. Because they’re based on disability ratings, servicemembers can receive benefits even if they are only slightly disabled due to a service-related injury or illness, though they will receive less than someone who is totally disabled.

Those servicemembers may also hold civilian jobs and later suffer additional injuries or illnesses that make it difficult or impossible for them to work. When that happens, they may be eligible to also apply for SSDI benefits.

VA Disability Benefits Don’t Affect SSDI Benefits

SSDI benefits may be reduced based on a recipient’s earned income. However, VA disability benefits aren’t considered earned income. That means that people with moderate or low disability ratings who were still able to work and became more disabled can collect both types of benefits at the same time without reducing either check.

However, it’s important to note that VA disability benefits DO affect Social Security retirement benefits. That means the amount of money you receive each month from the VA will directly impact how much money you receive in your retirement check each month from the SSA.

Disabled Veterans Get Expedited Processing for SSDI Claims

Getting approved for veterans disability benefits isn’t easy. People who get approved must go through many hoops, stacks of paperwork, and layers of bureaucracy to get the money they’re owed. But thankfully, the SSA considers this when disabled servicemembers need SSDI benefits.

The SSA allows disabled veterans to receive an expedited application process when they apply for SSDI benefits. Because SSDI benefits are also often very difficult to receive and include a lengthy application process that can result in a first-time denial, this perk can significantly shorten the amount of time it takes to get paid and reduce stress, frustration, and time without income.

Don’t Go It Alone Without a Lawyer

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffered a disability while serving in the U.S. military and later suffered an additional disability in the workforce, you need an experienced Indiana Social Security Disability lawyer on your side right now. It’s important to have a firm on your side who understands the complex situation you’re in and that knows how to maximize your chances of approval to get the most benefits possible.

Getting approved for benefits is just the first step for many people with both work-related and service-related disabilities. It’s also essential to ensure that you’re being paid fairly and that you understand which benefits you’re eligible for and which are right for you.

For example, many injured veterans face a dilemma of potentially being eligible for SSDI benefits and retirement benefits. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we can help you make sense of your situation and determine the best path forward for you and your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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