Qualifying for SSDI Benefits as a Veteran | #PTSDchat
Veterans

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits as a Veteran

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If you or someone you love is on VA disability, did you know that you could be eligible for
additional benefits? The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial resources for
Americans who are no longer able to work due to an illness or injury. VA Disability and Social
Security disability benefits also should not affect one another, meaning you could be missing out
on thousands of earned resources every year if you haven’t applied for Social Security disability
benefits yet.

VA Approval Can Help Your Disability Claim

Most veterans who were injured on active duty will qualify for Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI), which is only available for adults who have worked and paid Social Security
taxes. Any military salary is more than enough to qualify for SSDI.

If you have already been approved for VA disability benefits, you’ll have a significantly better
chance of qualifying for SSDI afterward. This is because the SSA takes the VA’s opinion into
consideration—Because you’ve already had one government organization deem you disabled,
you’ll have a wealth of evidence supporting your claim that most citizens wouldn’t otherwise
have. If your VA disability rating is 70% or above, you’ll have very high chances for SSDI
approval.

Some Differences Between the Two Programs

While both offered by the US government, there are some pretty large differences between SSDI
and VA disability. Here are just a couple of ways the two programs are unique:

  • SSDI is an “all or nothing” program. This means that if you’re partially disabled, you will
    not qualify for SSDI. For example, some vets receive disability benefits for a VA
    disability rating of 10%. This almost certainly will not qualify for SSDI, as the SSA will
    argue that you may be able to take a sedentary desk job. SSDI recipients need to have a
    disability so severe that they’re unable to earn $1,170+ per month.
  • It doesn’t matter when you became disabled to receive SSDI benefits. To qualify for VA
    disability, you’ll need to have been injured while on active duty, but SSDI benefits can be
    received any time during adulthood. For example, if you were injured while on active
    duty and given a 10% VA disability rating, you would probably not qualify for SSDI
    benefits. But if 3 years later you were diagnosed with cancer, long after your honorable
    discharge, you may then qualify for SSDI benefits.

Starting Your Application

It’s important to apply for SSDI benefits as soon as possible, as you will have a time limit to
qualify. The SSA requires that all SSDI recipients have “worked recently,” which usually means
any 5 of the past 10 years. Younger applicants will of course not be expected to have worked for
10 years, so young veterans will need much less of a work history to qualify.

Most claims will be processed within five months, but some veterans could be approved in as
little as 10 days. If you were injured on active duty on or after October 1, 2002, or if you have a
100% P&T VA disability rating, your claim will be expedited to ensure you’re approved as
quickly as possible.

Resources Found Via:
https://www.ssa.gov
https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/
https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/
http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/glossary/substantial-gainful-activity
http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/faq/length-application-process-disability-benefits

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