Can I Qualify For SSD Benefits If I Get Veterans’ Benefits?

Submitted by rtg on

Social Security disability benefits are available to eligible individuals who can’t work because of disabling conditions or injuries. The U.S Social Security Administration (SSA) offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to help disabled individuals who’ve worked in the past cover their monthly expenses.

Various factors can influence someone’s eligibility to receive benefits. You might worry you don’t qualify if you already receive veterans’ benefits. While this is an understandable concern, receiving veterans’ benefits doesn’t automatically disqualify you from receiving any form of SSD benefits.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability If You Get Veterans’ Benefits

Per the SSA, you can receive both Social Security disability benefits and Veterans Administration (VA) benefits when a disability prevents you from working and earning enough to cover the costs of daily life. However, you have to apply for each program separately. Luckily, the VA and SSA sometimes share information, helping expedite the application process.

Be aware that the eligibility criteria for SSDI is different from the VA benefits criteria. You must meet the following criteria to qualify for SSDI:

  • Having an impairment that prevents you from participating in substantial gainful activity at the time you submit your application
  • Having a disabling condition that is medically likely to last at least 12 months or result in your passing
  • Meeting certain age, education, and/or work history requirements

The above criteria don’t apply to VA benefits. To qualify for veterans’ benefits, you must have an injury or illness that resulted from military service or was aggravated as a result of military service.

That said, showing you meet these eligibility criteria isn’t always as easy as it seems. Enlisting the help of a legal professional when applying could improve your chances of receiving an approval from either program.

How Do VA Benefits Impact Disability Benefits?

Receiving VA benefits doesn’t disqualify you from receiving SSD benefits. Along with SSDI, you may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program with slightly different eligibility requirements from SSDI. You could qualify for SSI even if you receive VA benefits.

That doesn’t mean that receiving one form of benefits won’t affect the other. For example, perhaps you already receive VA benefits, and are now applying for Social Security disability benefits as well. The SSA may account for your VA benefits when determining how much money your monthly benefit amount should be.

Contact a Disability Lawyer

The fact that you may qualify for two forms of benefits doesn’t mean that you’ll begin receiving them immediately upon submitting an application or claim. You will need to provide substantial medical documentation to show why you deserve to receive benefits.

The application process is much easier to navigate when you have professional assistance. By hiring a disability lawyer, you’ll have someone on your side to handle everything from coordinating with doctors to submitting thorough paperwork with supporting evidence. Learn more by taking the Free Case Evaluation today to speak with an independent disability lawyer who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.