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Social Security Disability for Military Veterans

 Posted on September 08, 2022 in Social Security Disability

Texas SSDI benefit lawyerSocial Security disability benefits are generally available to disabled veterans, regardless of the war in which they served and how long ago the conflict was. Many disabled or wounded veterans are also eligible to receive disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While the goals of these two programs are similar—that is, providing financial assistance to disabled individuals—there are some important differences.

If you are a disabled veteran who is looking to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your first call should be to a qualified disability attorney at The Law Offices of Coats & Todd. We will help you work through your application and secure the benefits to which you are entitled under the appropriate program.

Definitions of Disability

Perhaps the biggest difference between SSDI and VA disability compensation is each program’s definition of “disabled.” To be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must show that you cannot perform “substantial gainful activity” as the result of a “medically determinable physical or mental impairment” that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in your eventual death.

Disability compensation through the VA depends on the severity of your disability that was caused or made worse by injuries or illnesses incurred during your active military service. To qualify for VA disability compensation, you must show that you have a “service-connected disabling condition” that you incurred or made worse by your service.

Compensation Scales

The other primary difference between the two disability programs is how they determine the amount of disability payments once you prove your qualifying condition. Under SSDI, the amount of compensation available to you will depend on the nature of your disability. Compensation rates for SSDI benefits are generally tied to the national average wage index, so they are updated fairly regularly.

Under the VA’s disability program, your service-connected condition will be rated by the VA on a scale that ranges from 10 to 100% in increments of 10%. Over time, your disability rating can change based solely on the condition itself, not based on your earnings.

Can I Get Compensation Under Both Programs?

It is possible for a person to qualify for disability benefits under both the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, qualifying for one does not mean you will automatically qualify for the other. Even a VA disability rating of 100% will not necessarily qualify you for SSDI benefits.

You must apply for each benefit program separately, as the rules regarding eligibility are different. You should know, however, that qualifying for one benefit will not hurt your chances of qualifying for the other or the monthly benefit amount that you are eligible to receive.

It is also helpful to know that the SSA expedites the processing of disability claims for veterans who were wounded during their service or who have a disability rating of 100%. Expediting processing includes all levels of processing, from the initial application all the way through to adjudication.

Call a Texas Disability Lawyer

For more information about obtaining SSDI benefits as a disabled military veteran, contact an experienced Dallas SSDI benefits attorney at The Law Offices of Coats & Todd. Call 972-671-9922 to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team today. We thank you for your service, and we look forward to helping you get the full benefits that you deserve.



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