Military veterans who have sustained disabling injuries while in service may qualify for Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits. These individuals may also qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which are awarded to people who cannot work due to disabling injuries. But, can an eligible veteran receive both VA benefits and Social Security benefits at the same time?
The short answer is yes, veterans can receive benefits from both the VA and Social Security Administration (SSA) at the same time. But, it’s important to note that a veteran who qualifies for VA disability benefits does not automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To receive both, he must meet the requirements of both programs.
Qualifying For Both VA and Social Security Disability Benefits
The VA will examine your medical records to determine whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. However, the VA will not look at your complete medical history, but rather the records from the time you were an active duty member. This is because you can only qualify for VA disability benefits if your injuries were sustained while you were an active duty service member. After reviewing your records, the VA will give you a disability rating from 0-100% depending on the severity of your injuries. A veteran with a 10% rating is not severely disabled, so he will not receive as much assistance as a veteran with a higher rating.
On the other hand, the SSA will only award benefits to applicants who are completely unable to work due to their injuries. They will look at your complete medical history—not just the injuries sustained in the military. As a result, applicants can combine their military-related injuries with other disabling conditions such as high blood pressure or arrhythmia to improve their odds of approval.
An applicant with a 10% rating from the VA will most likely not be approved by the SSA since his disability is probably not severe enough to prevent him from working. Each case is unique, but veterans with a rating of 70% or higher have a good shot at being approved.
Veterans who qualify for both types of benefits will receive monthly checks from both the VA and SSA. Receiving one of these benefits should not have an impact on the amount you receive from the other program.
Are you a disabled veteran? If so, get in touch with Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys are proud to help our country’s brave veterans secure the disability benefits they deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.