The U.S. Veterans Administration provides benefit checks to service personnel who become disabled in the line of duty. The Social Security Administration provides benefit checks to anyone who becomes disabled to the point where they’re unable to perform gainful employment. Veterans can receive benefits from both programs when disabilities impair their ability to work.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security benefit programs originated from the Social Security Act of 1935 in response to the economic crisis brought on by the Depression era. The program provided senior citizens with benefit entitlements in the form of cash, or checks due to their reduced capacity for work. As of 1956, the Social Security Act included benefit entitlements for disabled individuals. The Social Security Administration runs two programs that administer disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). The two programs differ in that SSDI benefits are based on a person’s previous work history, whereas SSI benefits are awarded to people who fail to meet the work history requirement.
Veterans Disability Benefits
The Veterans Administration provides disability benefits to former service personnel in cases where a service related injury results in some form of disability or in cases where a person develops a disability after his time in the service. The Disability Compensation Program awards disability checks to veterans who suffer from a disability caused by their time spent in the services. The Non Service Connected Pension Program awards checks to veterans who suffer from severe disabling conditions that developed after their time in the service and who fall within a low income level category. Veterans must also have served during a wartime period in order to be eligible for Non Service Connected Pension benefits.
The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration use different methods for making disability determinations, which ultimately determine the monthly amount of a person’s benefit checks. For the Social Security program, disability benefit amounts are based on the number of work credits a person earns while employed and the amount of money earned on a yearly basis. For the Veterans Compensation Program, disability benefit amounts are based on the degree of disability a person experiences and their level of impairment in terms her ability to work. The Veterans Non Service Connected Pension Program requires a total or permanent disability be present and adjusts benefits to equal the maximum annual allowance granted, meaning benefit amounts equal the difference between the maximum annual allowance and a person’s current income.
In many cases, a person’s Social Security disability check amount will be affected, and reduced by other types of benefits received. According to Social Security Online, veterans disability benefits do not affect the amount of money a person receives from Social Security disability. Veterans can receive disability benefits from the Veterans Administration in addition to a monthly award check from the Social Security program. The Social Security Administration also uses a special formula for determining work credits in cases where a person has served in the military. Work credits are earned for every year in the workforce. In the case of veterans, a person can earn a maximum of $1,200 a year in work credits for time spent in the military.
- ElderLaw: Who Is Eligible for SSDI?
- Vermont Veteran Services Directory: VA Disability
- Social Security Online: Veterans Administration Benefits, Effects of SSDI
- Ultimate Social Security Disability Guide: Social Security Disability for Veterans
- U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Disability Compensation
Jacquelyn Jeanty has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. Her work appears at various websites. Her specialty areas include health, home and garden, Christianity and personal development. Jeanty holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Purdue University.