veteran holding an American flag, social security disability

It is possible for disabled veterans in Tennessee to receive disability benefits from the Veterans Administration simultaneously with Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Because SSDI is not based on need, receiving VA payments will not impact eligibility for disability benefits through the SSA. People who are rated as 100 percent permanently and totally disabled by the VA may qualify for a special review process when they apply for SSDI. Since there are separate eligibility requirements, however, not all disabled veterans who receive VA benefits will be eligible for SSDI.

Difference Between VA and SSDI Benefits

Veteran’s disability benefits and SSDI benefits are administered by two separate government agencies, so payments are issued separately. Additionally, benefits amounts are calculated differently between the two agencies. The Veterans Administration bases disability benefits payment amounts on a veteran’s disability ratings. The Social Security Administration bases SSDI payment amounts on the person’s earnings record.

Because the eligibility requirements are different, it is possible for disabled veterans to secure benefits from the VA but to be denied benefits from the Social Security Administration. To receive SSDI, people must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity and have severe disabilities that are expected to last a year or longer. To qualify for VA disability, the veteran must simply be partially disabled.

Will Having Veteran’s Benefits Help an SSDI Claim?

Getting approved for veteran’s disability benefits may help a person’s claim for SSDI. This is because another government agency has already found that the person is disabled. If the applicant has a disability rating of 100 percent from the VA, he or she will qualify for special review procedures with the Social Security Administration. People who have disability ratings that are lower will go through the standard application process at the Social Security Administration, however. When pursuing a claim for disability, the standard process can take months or even years.

Receiving veteran’s benefits may make it easier to be approved for Social Security disability benefits. Since VA benefits will not impact eligibility for SSDI or the amount received through the Social Security Administration, getting benefits from both programs may help ease the financial burdens people face when physical or mental impairments prevent or reduce earnings from employment.