How do military retirement or VA disability benefits affect eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance?

Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a completely separate entity from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it is possible to receive benefits from both organizations concurrently. In many cases, however, even veterans receiving 100% disability benefits from the VA are denied by Social Security, so it is always advisable to seek legal counsel before proceeding with an application.

In fact, qualifying for VA disability may help your Social Security claim. This is because the SSA will see that another government program has ruled in favor of your disability, making it less likely for you to be able to work in the future.

SSI Income and VA Disability

Unlike SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Social Security Disability Insurance is not need-based, but rather based upon an individual's capacity for gainful employment. Therefore, receiving military retirement benefits will not affect a candidates eligibility for SSDI.

The only exception to this is if you're receiving VA pension, which is for very needy veterans who are disabled outside of active duty and have limited income or assets. People on VA pension may be eligible for SSI benefits, as both programs are designed for people with disabilities who are needy.

Getting Help With Your SSDI or SSI Claim

If you are a disabled veteran receiving military retirement or VA disability benefits and you are considering applying for SSDI, contact a qualified Social Security lawyer now. A Social Security advocate or attorney can help you with the application process and getting you the benefits you need.

Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!