Can You Receive VA Compensation & SSA Disability Benefits at the Same Time?

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The disability program for veterans is run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is known as the VA Disability Compensation program. This program pays monthly benefits to its recipients, depending on the severity of the disability. People who have extremely severe disabilities receive higher monthly benefits. A veteran may also be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, depending on whether or not he has paid Social Security tax.

VA Compensation Disability and SSD

  • If you are eligible to receive disability benefits as a veteran and also as an American citizen who has paid Social Security tax, there is no reason why you cannot receive both benefits at the same time. The only conditions are that you meet all requirements of eligibility for both programs. Also, the payments you receive from veterans' benefits do not affect or reduce your Social Security benefits and vice-versa.

VA Disability Compensation

  • The VA Disability Compensation program pays monthly disability benefits. To be eligible to receive these benefits, you are required to have received honorable discharge from your service. Your disability must have been caused during service or as a result of service. You are also eligible to receive these benefits if you had a condition that became apparent before you served but got worse due to service. Your service must have lasted for at least three months, in which at least one day must have been during a war period.

VA Disability Compensation Application

  • The order in which you apply for veteran benefits and Social Security benefits does not matter because neither application is affected by the other. To apply for VA Disability Compensation benefits, you must fill out VA Form 21-526. If you have a spouse and dependents, you may be eligible to receive higher benefits. You should attach to your application any of these documents that apply: discharge papers, marriage certificate, children's birth certificates and medical evidence of your condition.

Social Security Disability

  • If you are disabled, you may also qualify to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Eligibility is determined by what you paid into Social Security through payroll taxes and the age at which you became disabled. If you are still working while applying for these benefits, you cannot earn more than $1,000 per month. Otherwise, the Social Security Administration will consider you as not being disabled. Other requirements to receive these benefits are that your disability must last for a year or lead to death and performing daily activities must require a major effort on your part.

Social Security Disability Application

  • To apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you must provide your Social Security number and your birth certificate. You must also provide your medical records, including the information from your doctor and hospital, plus information on any medication you take. You must also provide any test and laboratory results you have available and employment information including the name of your former employer and a copy of your most recent W-2 form or tax return. You can apply online or contact the Social Security office in your city to set up an appointment.

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