I have so much respect and admiration for the men and women who have served in our armed forces. Our location here in Vacaville, CA is only a few short miles from the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA. As such, I have the opportunity to help many disabled veterans with their disability claims. I am able to give back to these honorable Americans in a small way and that truly makes my work feel worthwhile.
These men and women put their own health and safety on the line to protect our country. Thus, nearly four billion of these folks live with some form of disability following the completion of service. Out of this four billion, the SSA reports that only about 600,000 veterans receive disability benefits from the SSA. What a staggering difference!
While not every veteran is eligible for both VA disability benefits and SSA disability benefits, it is important to explore both to ensure that the best choices made. While this blog provides some food for thought, every situation is unique. Therefore, I always recommend that you meet with an accredited disability representative to discuss your personal situation and determine if applying for disability benefits from the SSA makes sense for you.
It is important to know that Social Security disability benefits are not reduced when a veteran is also receiving disability benefits from the VA. While the VA may reduce benefits in some situations, the SSA will not.
While typically disability benefits from the SSA are only paid in situations where someone is permanently disabled, there are situations where a veteran may be eligible for a period of disability benefits when they were unable to work but later were able to return to work. A veteran can submit a claim for a “closed period” of benefits from the SSA to receive benefits for the months that they were disabled, if the disability lasted at least a year.
Veterans that are found to be 100% disabled by the VA are often times also eligible to have their disability claims expedited by the SSA. In many situations, the SSA is notified of the veteran’s 100% disability determination and thus the process of qualifying for disability benefits from the SSA can move very quickly.
In addition, in some situations a veteran’s family members may be eligible to receive benefits from the SSA based on the work record of the veteran. These family members may include a spouse over the age of 62 or a spouse of any age if they are caring for a young child or disabled, adult child. Stepchildren and grandchildren are also eligible for benefits in some situations.
Also, some veterans can be deemed eligible for both Medicare and TRICARE. This extra medical coverage can be very helpful in that Medicare could become the primary payer with TRICARE covering supplemental coverage for things like deductibles and copays.
There is a lot to consider when planning how to live on retirement or disability pensions and benefits. Understanding the various programs and considering them in light of medical insurance issues and offsets can be daunting. Let us help. As always, there is no cost to you unless we qualify for you benefits. So, you have nothing to lose by getting help from an expert.