Social Security Disability benefits may be an option for some veterans who are disabled and unable to work. There is also an expedited application process for those members of the military who became disabled while they were on active duty on or after October 1, 2001. The Social Security Administration (SSA) Wounded Warriors website contains all the information you might need if you are a veteran who might qualify for SSDI benefits. Veterans who have a compensation rating of 100% P&T (permanent and total) may also be able to have their disability claim expedited. An important thing to know is that while both the Veterans Administration and the SSA pay disability benefits, the criteria for qualifying and the application processes are completely different.
One of the advantages of SSD benefits is that it provides a stable income for veterans and their families, and it also provides health insurance for those who are unable to qualify for VA health benefits. Some veterans may qualify for SSD benefits instead of or in addition to VA disability benefits, and the Medicaid or Medicare health benefits can act as a supplement to VA health benefits.
Defining disability from a VA perspective
To qualify for veterans’ disability benefits, an individual must have a service-connected disability, that is a disabling condition that can be linked to their military service. Rates of compensation are paid on a graduated scale from 10 to 100 percent in 10 percent increments based on the degree to which the veteran is disabled.
Social Security Disability qualifying impairment
To qualify for SSD benefits, a veteran is not required to provide evidence that their disability is linked to their military service. They can qualify regardless of their status when they were discharged from the military, and the benefits are not paid on a graduated scale. A veteran would need to provide the following to qualify for SSD benefits:
- Evidence that they have a physical or mental disability which causes impairments to their ability to earn at least $1,130 per month (2016)
- The disabling condition has lasted, or is expected to last for 12 months or more or result in death.
Veterans who have a 100 percent P&T disability rating from the VA should identify themselves as such when they apply for SSD benefits, and include a copy of the VA rating document with their application for expedited processing.
Veterans who have received a disabling mental or physical injury while on active duty on or after October 1, 2017, are also eligible for expedited SSD application processing. Veterans should inform the SSA that their disabling injury occurred while they were on active duty.
It is important to know that SSD and veterans’ disability benefits have an impact on one another, and receiving VA benefits will not affect SSDI recipients.
This is just an overview to give you an idea of what is available for disabled veterans from the SSA to supplement their VA disability benefits if they have a qualifying impairment. You will likely have many questions about your specific case, which is why you are encouraged to contact a skilled Philadelphia SSD attorney who can answer your questions and offer insight into whether you might qualify for SSD and how to develop a compelling application.
Talk to the Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates today to get more information. Contact us or call 888.PITT.LAW to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.