The men and women who make up our country’s military forces can, unfortunately, suffer a variety of mental conditions that stem from serving our nation. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is frequently a problem for veterans, making it difficult for them to return to their normal life or even maintain a job. When a veteran suffers from PTSD, that veteran likely seeks veterans benefits. However, this might not be enough to meet the veteran’s basic financial needs. Therefore, a veteran might seek additional assistance through the Social Security Administration, or SSA.
Can veterans receiving VA benefits qualify for Social Security Disability benefits? According to the SSA, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has a separate disability program from the SSA. Therefore, it is possible to seek disability benefits from both the VA and SSA.
However, applicants should be aware that each program has different criteria. This could result in an applicant qualifying for both, just one program or neither program. Additionally, veterans are required to file separate applications to receive disability benefits from the SSA and the VA.
It should be noted that the VA does pay disability for partial disability, while the SSA only pays SSD benefits for those with impairments that are severe, preventing the applicant from partaking in any kind of substantial gainful activity. Therefore, applicants should understand that the qualifications for SSD benefits differ from VA disability benefits.
The SSA considers a person to be disabled if that person is not able to do the work they did before, the SSA determines that the applicant cannot adjust their work due to their medical condition and the disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in the death of the applicant.
While the fact that an applicant is receiving VA disability benefits does not prevent them from applying for and receiving SSD benefits, there are eligibility factors that need to be considered. Additionally, if an application is initially denied, the applicant should understand they have a right to appeal that decision.