Veterans with disabilities may benefit from the SSDI program. The SSDI benefits are funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to help the disabled and certain family members. To qualify for this program, you must have contributed to the Social Security trust fund as per the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
Typically, the payout from the SSDI disability program is funded from the monthly Social Security tax deductions from your earnings. This means that the amount you will receive depends on your average lifetime contributions before your disability. These benefits are also available to veterans receiving other Veterans Affairs benefits like VA disability benefits, Medicare, and Tricare benefits.
Social Security Administration basic requirements for disability pay
Veterans with injuries not linked to their military service are still eligible for the SSA benefits. Unlike other benefits, the veteran’s discharge status is not a determining factor in allocating SSA benefits. According to SSA, a veteran must meet the following requirements to receive the SSDI benefits:
- Have proof of physical or mental health conditions that have limited their potential to work at a substantial gainful level
- The physical or mental health condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least a year
SSDI Vs. SSI
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another program administered by the SSA to help people with disabilities. SSI does not require the applicant to have a work history or work credits to qualify. SSI eligibility is a need-based program; the eligibility for this program is determined by your current income and your current resources, but not how much income you have earned in the past.
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you will still have to demonstrate that you are disabled as per the SSA standards. As SSI is based on your current income, veterans receiving or those who have qualified for VA pension may not be eligible for SSI benefits. This is because the amount received on VA pension benefits is more significant than the SSI payment. However, if you have earned enough working credits, you can still receive VA pension benefits together with SSDI benefits.
SSA expedited processing for veterans who are VA-Rated 100% disabled
SSA introduced a new policy to accelerate the processing of claims from veterans who are permanently disabled. Therefore, it is essential for veterans with a permanent and total disability rating from VA to identify themselves when starting the SSI/SSDI application process.
Understanding your benefits is a critical part of your wellbeing, as well as the ongoing care of your family. The application for SSA benefits is made online or at the nearest Social Security Office. You can also schedule an appointment with the SSA office over the phone.