This Memorial Day, we remember those who served our country who have fallen. Their commitment to the protection of our civil rights and freedoms is unmatched.
Humbled by their sacrifices, we recognize the need to support the wounded and disabled veterans who fought alongside these brave men and women.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the job market looks bleak for many. It is especially difficult for disabled veterans.
Veterans deserve to take full advantage of the benefits the United States government provides, particularly in times like these. Here, we will outline the different types of benefits available to disabled veterans.
In general, two government organizations provide support to veterans: Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA.)
Within these organizations, a number of programs including Social Security disability are available.
Save the photo above for a brief summary of each program. Let’s explore each in more detail so you can decide what is best for you and your family.
VA Disability Compensation
This program is available for veterans whose disabilities were caused or made worse by their service. The process involves a VA medical review which includes assignment of a “disability rating” percentage.
The disability rating determines the amount of compensation awarded. The amount of compensation also depends on whether the person receiving the benefits has dependents such as a spouse, child, or parent. See the VA’s 2020 Veterans disability compensation rates here.
Veterans Affairs Pension payments are available for those who meet at least one of the following criteria:
Be at least 65 years of age
Have a permanent or total disability
Be a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability
Be a recipient of SSI or SSDI (see these programs’ details below)
You must also meet certain criteria related to the length of active duty service, and your income must not exceed certain limits set by Congress. This is because VA pension payments are need-based.
The VA pension is available for veterans who aren’t receiving retirement benefits. This could be due to a disability developed during active duty. This disability could cause veteran to retire from service too soon to be eligible for retirement.
No matter the scenario, VA pension is available as an option for those who are living on limited or no income due to a disability acquired while serving.
Did you know that disabled veterans can receive VA benefits and Social Security disability? For disabled veterans who cannot earn a regular income, Social Security can provide much needed financial assistance.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a nationwide program unrelated to military service. It is available for disabled people who have limited or no income or financial resources.
Those above the age of 65 can qualify, even if they are not disabled, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
Being a recipient of SSI can improve one’s chances of receiving VA pension. Keep in mind, this is a one-way relationship. The Social Security Administration does not consider benefits received under the VA when determining eligibility for Social Security programs.
When applying for Social Security programs such as SSI and SSDI, it is advisable to hire an attorney to assist you with your application.
Social Security disability insurance (SSDI)
To receive Social Security disability, you must have worked long enough to qualify. Unlike VA Disability Compensation, Social Security disability does not assign “disability ratings.” Rather, the SSA considers applicants either “disabled” or not.
The stakes are high when it comes to making a good case to the SSA for why your condition qualifies as “disabled.” Some of the criteria you must meet to qualify as “disabled” are as follows:
Unable to do work that you did before
Unable to adjust to alternative work because of your disability
You have a total disability (lasting or expected to last at least one year), rather than a short-term or partial disability
Proving the above criteria involves obtainment of medical records, and a long, frustrating process prone to application denials.
Because of this reality, disabled veterans applying for social security disability should consider hiring an attorney. Read more about the reasons why hiring an attorney to handle your Social Security case could save you time and money on Lamar Law Office’s blog.
Thank you, veterans
If you’re a disabled veteran reading this blog, we want to offer our sincerest thanks for your service. We reiterate our commitment to help you qualify for the compensation you need for yourself and your family.
Call us at 877-CARE-404 and let our expert Social Security attorney Anita Lamar provide you with the legal care you deserve after your service to our country.