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Many veterans who have served our country find themselves facing the challenges of a disability. These brave individuals may be eligible for both Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits as well as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, navigating the complex world of disability benefits can be overwhelming, leaving many veterans wondering if they can receive both VA disability and Social Security benefits simultaneously.

Can You Get Social Security and VA Disability at the Same Time?

The short answer is yes, you are able to receive both Social Security and VA disability benefits concurrently. These two benefit programs are separate and have different eligibility requirements, which means that receiving one does not disqualify you from receiving the other. Many veterans rely on both VA disability and SSDI benefits to make ends meet and cover the costs associated with their disabilities.

VA disability benefits compensate veterans for service-connected disabilities, which are injuries or illnesses caused or aggravated by their military service. The VA pays these tax-free benefits monthly based on the severity of the veteran’s disability, ranging from 10% to 100% disability ratings.

On the other hand, SSDI benefits provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a severe disability, regardless of whether that disability is service-connected or not. To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked enough years, paid Social Security taxes, and have a disability that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Does Social Security Count as Income for VA Health Benefits?

While receiving Social Security benefits does not affect your eligibility for VA disability benefits, it may impact your eligibility for VA health benefits. The VA uses a formula to determine a veteran’s eligibility for health benefits, which considers the veteran’s income, assets, and other factors.

Social Security benefits, including SSDI, are considered income to determine VA health benefit eligibility. However, the VA also applies certain deductions and exclusions when calculating a veteran’s income, which may help some veterans maintain their eligibility for VA health benefits even if they receive Social Security benefits.

Do You Get Extra Money from Social Security for Being a Veteran?

While being a veteran does not automatically entitle you to extra Social Security benefits, certain circumstances surrounding your military service may make you eligible for SSDI or make it possible to obtain your benefits faster.

For example, if you became disabled while in active military service on or after October 1, 2001, you may be eligible for expedited SSDI application processing. This can help you receive your benefits more quickly than you would through the standard application process.

Additionally, if you served in the military between 1957 and 2001, you may have received special credits to help you qualify for SSDI benefits. These credits are based on your active duty service and can be added to your civilian work credits to help you meet the minimum requirements for SSDI eligibility.

How Much Money Can You Make on Social Security Disability?

The money you can receive from SSDI depends on your average lifetime earnings before becoming disabled. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a complex formula to calculate your benefit amount, which considers your age, work history, and the amount of Social Security taxes you have paid over the years.

In 2023, the average monthly SSDI benefit totaled $1,483, with a maximum monthly benefit of $3,627. However, it’s important to note that most SSDI recipients receive less than the maximum benefit amount, as the actual payment is based on their work history and earnings.

Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart

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The SSA provides a Social Security Disability benefits pay chart to help you estimate your potential SSDI benefit amount based on your age and earnings history. This chart shows the percentage of your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) that you can expect to receive in SSDI benefits.

For example, if you become disabled at age 50 and your AIME is $4,000, you may be eligible for a monthly SSDI benefit of around $1,800. However, this is just an estimate, and your total benefit amount may vary based on your individual circumstances.

Contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C.

Navigating the complexities of VA disability and Social Security benefits can be challenging, but Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. is here to help. Our experienced disability attorneys have assisted veterans and others with disabilities for over 40 years. We understand the intricacies of both the VA and Social Security disability systems and can help you maximize your benefits while ensuring that you meet all eligibility requirements.

If you have questions about receiving VA disability and Social Security benefits simultaneously or need assistance with the application process for either program, contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today at 516-496-0400 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review your case, answer your questions, and provide guidance to secure the benefits you deserve.

Last Updated : June 10, 2024
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