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I Am A Veteran. Can I Still Receive SSDI Benefits?

Posted on October 21, 2013

Many veterans believe that if they have qualified for disability benefits through the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and are covered by its medical and pension program that they are not eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

However, that is not true. Veterans are also eligible to receive the same Social Security benefits as any other citizen who pays taxes. Many aren’t aware of this dual coverage, referred to as “concurrent eligibility.”

First, be aware that the VA and The Social Security Administration (SSA) rules for determining who is disabled are similar in some ways and very different in other ways. For instance, a veteran who suffers a service-connected physical or mental disability may find that he or she may be eligible for compensation for a “partial” disability through the VA.

With the SSA, there is no “partial” disability. In its eyes, an applicant is either totally disabled or not disabled under its rules. So a veteran who is considered 10% disabled by the VA may find it difficult to get approved for SSDI benefits.

However, the higher the percentage the VA considers a disability, the more sway it will have with the SSA. In other words, if the VA finds your disability is in the 70% to 100% range, you stand a better chance of also getting approved for SSDI benefits.

However, know that getting approval for your SSDI claim is no slam-dunk. Even if the VA rates your disability at a high percentage, Social Security still determines disability based on its own rules.

However, you have an advantage if the VA considers you disabled and you are also applying for SSDI benefits. First, you have access to thorough documentation of your condition through the VA. Also, because another federal agency has found that you are incapable of work or are in a position where full-time work would be very difficult, Social Security may attach greater weight to your claim.

Are you a disabled veteran who isn’t sure whether you are also eligible for SSDI benefits? Then you need to talk to the Social Security Insurance benefits attorneys at Farah & Farah in Gainesville. If you are confused about the rules and the process, call us at (877) 245-6707 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or simply contact us online.