Have you already filed for Social Security disability (SSD)? If so, it’s important to understand how the Social Security Administration processes your claim and awards benefits is different from how it’s handled at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with a disability attorney near you. Our law firm is always happy to help veterans get the VA compensation they deserve after serving our country.
If you have any questions about SSD, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.
What Is SSD?
SSD stands for Social Security disability. While funding for VA disability benefits comes from the Veterans Administration budget specifically, funding for SSD comes from the taxpayers.
You don’t have to be a veteran to qualify for SSD, although it’s possible to receive funding from both the VA and from Social Security if you are injured. Still, being covered by one does not necessarily mean you’ll be eligible for coverage by the other. The VA may determine that your disability covered by SSD is not service-related, for example.
Percentages of Disability
The VA disability system determines how much a service connected disability affects your life by assigning a percentage. The Social Security system is different because it only determines whether you are disabled or not. In other words, the way disability is defined by the Social Security Administration is in all or nothing terms.
Keep in mind that just because you’ve been rewarded SSD in the past, doesn’t mean that you could receive VA disability pay. While both entities consider much of the same information when determining your eligibility for benefits, they are independent of each other. The VA will need to determine whether your disability is related to your service. A VA disability attorney will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve for service connected disabilities.
Definition of Disability
The Social Security system defines disability by a lasting condition or a condition that results in death. Your condition must be expected to last at least a year in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. SSD is different from VA disability benefits because it doesn’t use percentages to rate how much a affects your life. You’re either disabled or you’re not.
Not Based on Income
Yourisn’t based on income. This means that you can be a millionaire and still qualify for VA benefits. SSD, on the other hand, is designed to help out people with disabilities who are unable to work or make a living wage.
Depending on the extent of your disability, you may qualify for both VA benefits and SSD. For example, you may receive compensation from the VA for total disability individual unemployability (TDIU). When veterans have a TDIU rating, this means that the VA found them unable to obtain gainful employment due to a service connected disability.
In order to receive a TDIU rating, you must have at least one service connected disability with at least a 60% rating. As an alternative to the second condition, you must have two or more service-related conditions (one must be at least 40% or higher with a combined disability rating of 70% or more). The idea is that you are unable to keep gainful employment, which does not include odd jobs or marginal employment.
Want More Information?
Our Kalamazoo disability lawyers will fight aggressively for your case so you can get the VA compensation you deserve for service connected disability. To schedule your consultation with one of our disability lawyers, call the VA Disability Group at 1-844-VET-LAWS (838-5297).
[This blog has been updated.]