How Does An SSDI-Qualifying Disability Relate To A VA Disability?
Anyone who has recently suffered a disabling injury or has been diagnosed with a disabling illness may be considering options for obtaining disability benefits. There are different types of disability benefits, and there are different requirements for each of them. Depending upon your work situation, you may be eligible for private disability benefits through your insurer, or if your disabling injury or illness resulted from or occurred on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You also may be eligible to seek benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (which is abbreviated as SSDI, and sometimes described more simply as SSD benefits) program or through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), both of which are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In addition, if you are a veteran, you might be wondering about your eligibility for Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits.
Our national disability benefits lawyers want to provide you with more information about eligibility for SSD benefits and the definition of a disability, and how that definition relates to VA disability benefits.
Qualifying for SSDI and VA Disability Benefits Will Involve Two Separate Processes
The processes for qualifying for SSDI benefits and VA disability benefits are distinct and separate from one another. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you will need to meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability, and you will also need to meet the work history requirements (you must have worked long enough, and for enough hours, to qualify). Differently, VA disability compensation depends upon whether you were injured or developed a disabling illness during or as a result of your military service.
VA Benefits Can Be Paid for a Partial Disability
To qualify for SSDI, you must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment for at least one year, or your disability must be expected to result in death. Differently, with VA disability benefits, you will receive a VA disability rating that is on a percentage scale. The VA disability rating indicates how much your disability affects your ability to work and to function. If you sustained multiple disabling injuries or conditions while engaged in military service, you can add up disability ratings.
To clarify, you must be unable to work to have a qualifying disability for SSDI benefits. For VA disability benefits, you can receive payment based on your VA disability rating, even if you are able to do some work.
You May Be Able to Collect SSDI and VA Disability Benefits
If you are a military veteran who became disabled while you were serving in the military, you may be able to receive SSDI benefits and VA disability benefits at the same time. As AARP clarifies, nearly one million former military service members were receiving both SSDI and VA disability benefits as of 2016. It is important to keep in mind, as we noted above, that the processes for qualifying for SSDI and VA disability benefits will not overlap with one another, and the benefits do not offset one another. In other words, the SSDI payment you receive will not affect your VA disability payment and vice versa.
You should also know that receiving a 100 percent VA disability rating can allow you to “fast track” your SSDI benefits claim.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Attorney
To learn more about SSDI and VA disability benefits, you should get in touch with an experienced national SSDI benefits attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz today.