California residents who have previously served in the military may be able to collect both social security and Veterans Affairs (VA) disability. This process takes time, and you must meet certain requirements to be eligible for both. Navigating any social security matter is challenging enough on its own, and working to collect VA benefits on top of this may be too complex for the normal individual. Fortunately, there’s a way to ensure that you properly apply for and collect from both types of programs.
Our team at Gade & Parekh, LLP, has spent several years working with veterans to ensure that they receive the compensation they’re entitled to. The process for applying for social security and VA disability can be daunting, but we’re prepared to walk you through every step of the way.
How to Qualify for VA Disability and Social Security
If you developed a physical or mental illness, or became injured during your service, you may qualify for VA benefits. This is also the case if you have a preexisting condition that became worse due to your time spent in the military. For social security, you only need to have spent enough time working and paying social security taxes to qualify for benefits.
In terms of medical requirements, you may be eligible for social security if you have a severe enough condition that prevents you from working for at least a year or if your condition could lead to death. While VA requirements are similar, this will be determined based on a scale. For example, if you had a limb amputated, they’ll determine if the amount of the limb that was amputated is enough to prevent you from working. It’s possible to receive a 100 percent disability rating if you were to have multiple disabilities.
Should you qualify for VA and social security, you may be entitled to several benefits. When applying for social security, they may look at any relevant information you submitted to the VA to determine your eligibility.
If you qualify for social security disability insurance (SSDI), you can receive compensation for yourself and other family members. Supplemental security income (SSI) allows those who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65 to receive money monthly. This amount is approximately $770 a month for an individual and just over $1,100 for a disabled couple. Of course, if you retire, you’ll receive compensation monthly after your retirement date.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Many veterans looking to apply for VA or social security attempt to navigate the process alone only to be met with confusing details or rejection. It’s highly recommended for anyone wanting to apply for either program to speak with an attorney first.
It can be difficult to prove that you have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from working, especially if you became injured or ill during your service. To strengthen your case, have an attorney look over all the relevant paperwork and evidence you have so they can present it accordingly. If you ever become confused at any step of the process, or need clarification on what benefits you can receive, a knowledgeable attorney can inform you of your rights while fighting for compensation.
Q: Can I Get Social Security If I’m a 100 Percent Disabled Veteran?
A: While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get social security, you can be eligible for it if you’re 100 percent disabled. You must meet certain qualifications to receive social security as a disabled veteran, such as having a severe injury that prevents you from working at all. If you attempt to work with an injury or illness and risk dying, you may be able to receive both VA and social security benefits.
Q: How Does VA Disability Pay Affect Social Security?
A: If you qualify for SSI, your VA income will be considered “unearned income.” The amount you receive from VA will be deducted from the amount you would receive from SSI, along with a $20 general exclusion. However, SSDI is unaffected by VA, meaning you’ll receive the full amount from both programs. VA disability pay only affects you if you also have SSI benefits.
Q: What Happens to My VA Disability When I Turn 65?
A: Your VA disability will not end when you turn 65. When you turn 65, you may be able to receive VA pension benefits. Generally, age does not affect your VA status, and even if you pass away, your benefits could pass on to your spouse. Your work history doesn’t matter if you’re 65 and are requesting compensation.
Q: Can a 70-Year-Old Disabled Veteran Get Social Security?
A: Yes, they can receive both VA and social security benefits. Their age and work history won’t factor into their ability to receive compensation. If you can prove that you are a veteran with a disability that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to compensation from both types of programs. While you aren’t guaranteed social security in any situation, you can be eligible for it if you can prove that you qualify.
Gade & Parekh, LLP: Your California Social Security Attorneys
Social security isn’t guaranteed, yet many veterans in California wonder if they can receive benefits. Fortunately, if you’re able to prove your case, and show that you qualify for this program, you can collect compensation alongside your VA benefits and vice versa. Navigating this legal situation, and proving you deserve compensation, is more complex than many realize, which is why we’re here to help.
Gade & Parekh, LLP, knows how intimidating the legal system can be, especially when you’re looking to receive monthly benefits. However, veterans deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, as they have risked their lives to protect our country. They shouldn’t have to worry about trying to work with a severe illness or injury that could lead to more problems later. Social Security and VA programs don’t have to be complicated, and we’re prepared to answer any questions you have about applying for either.
Learn more about what we do by contacting us today.