You May Be Able to Collect Social Security Disability Benefits and VA Benefits Together

January 26, 2016

We have a large number of servicemen and servicewomen who are coming home with injuries that allow them to collect benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. For many people, though, that is not enough to survive on, and the money they get cannot help them take care of their families or pay their bills. In some cases, qualified veterans may be able to collect Social Security Disability benefits as well. Because each case is unique, it is important that you speak with an experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer about your eligibility and your application.

Defining disability

The VA offers a number of different benefits to veterans and their families. According to their website, “disability compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.”

Unlike SSD benefits, however, VA disability compensation is awarded in percentages – 10 up to 100 – and does not preclude a person’s ability to work. For example: if you suffer a permanent injury to your leg that makes it difficult to walk but not impossible for you to work, you may still receive compensation from the VA; you would not, however, be eligible for SSD benefits, which are only awarded if you have paid into the system, and:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

What kinds of conditions qualify?

Certain medical conditions qualify for SSD benefits, and some of those conditions may have been the direct or indirect result of your time in the service. The VA lists certain examples of “presumed disability;” some of those are also in the SSA “blue book,” such as:

  • Veterans who have certain chronic or tropical diseases that become evident within a specific period of time after discharge from service
  • Veterans who were exposed to ionizing radiation, mustard gas, or Lewisite while in service
  • Veterans who were exposed to certain herbicides, such as by serving in Vietnam
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

If you are a veteran living with chronic pain or health conditions, and you have contributed to the Social Security fun through your paychecks at any time in the last five years, you may be able to collect benefits. The Social Security Disability lawyers of Larry Pitt & Associates want to hear your story and help you obtain the compensation you need. To make an appointment, please contact one of our many offices serving clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Countie