If you are a Veteran and have a service-related injury or illness you may be entitled to VA disability compensation. You are an American and served your county selflessly. You might have been physically injured or the carnage of war and your experiences caused you to suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You rejoined life as a civilian and this has been difficult to adjust to. As a Veteran, you can apply for VA benefits through the Veterans Administration.
The VA will determine if your disabling condition was incurred or aggravated during active military service. Your compensation rate will be paid on a scale from 10-100 percent.
Pensions, or non-service-connected disability payments, require that Veterans served in a wartime period, have limited resources and assets, and have a discharge other than dishonorable (among other factors).
Once you receive VA benefits or while you are waiting for a disability decision from the VA it is in your best interest to then apply of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. Waiting too long can be detrimental to your claim due to not having enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. It is important to note that the Veterans Administration and Social Security have different qualifications to determine disability. It is common to receive VA benefits but not qualify for SS benefits.
Social Security does not require that your disabling condition be connected or linked to your time in the military or does not consider any discharge status. Social Security looks at:
- Evidence of a physical or mental condition through your medical records.
- These conditions result in functional impairments that limit your ability to work at a substantial gainful level.
- That the disabling condition has already lasted or will last at least 12 months or result in death.
SSDI and VA disability compensations are not affected by each other, so you may be eligible to receive both. It may be possible to also qualify for SSI, depending on income and resources.
Attorney Shari Lynn Stevens has worked extensively with residents of Northeastern Wisconsin to secure their financial freedom through filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. She also advocates and represents disabled clients in their Social Security disability claims.