Social Security Disability benefits for veterans

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Military veterans have made many contributions and sacrifices for our country. But unfortunately, many veterans leave military service with one or more disabilities.

In addition to physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) is extremely common for military veterans. These disabilities make it difficult or impossible to work after leaving military service.

If you are a disabled military veteran in Florida, you may qualify for disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and receive disability benefits through the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs (“VA disability”).

You can receive disability benefits through both programs. However, you must apply for them separately.

SSDI requirements

There are several differences between the two programs and if you are applying for SSDI, it is important to know what you must show to receive benefits. This can prevent your claim from being denied, which could mean you must wait even longer to receive benefits.

To qualify for SSDI as a veteran you must show:

  • Your disability prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity at the time of your application
  • Your disability must last, or be expected to last, at least 12 months or end in death
  • Your eligibility and monthly benefit amount are not affected by any other program

Several other factors, such as your age, education and work history could impact your eligibility for SSDI benefits as a military veteran. One important point to note about SSDI is that your injury and illness do not need to be due to your military service, although this is a requirement for applying for VA disability.

VA disability

In contrast, when applying for VA disability, your illness or injury must be due to your military service, but you do not need to show that it will last at least 12 months or end in death.

You also are not required to show that your disability prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity and your age, education and work history have no effect on your application.

The waiting time to find out if your application was approved can be quite long. Depending on your situation, you could qualify for expedited processing of your SSDI application.

Your VA disability compensation rating must be 100% permanent and total or you must have developed your disability on or after October 1, 2001, to potentially qualify for the expedited processing.

The application process

It is best to have all your information and documentation ready before you apply for SSDI benefits. You will need basic information such as your name and date of birth, as well as information on marriages, children and employment, education and medical history.

In terms of your military service, you must provide the type of duty and branch and your service period dates.

Once you complete and submit your application, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will review the application to ensure you meet the basic eligibility requirements. They will then review your current work activity and forward your application to the appropriate state office.

The time it can take to process an application varies, but a typical wait time is three to six months.

The SSA may contact you if they need more information or documentation so you should keep your contact information updated and check your mail regularly to promptly respond to any communications from them.



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