2018 marks the Centennial Commemoration of the end of World War I. Veteran’s Day will be celebrated on November 11, 2018.
Sometimes the disability benefits program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) gets confused with the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”) program.
However, the two programs are significantly different.
The Difference Between SSDI and Veteran’s Disability Benefits.
One of the major differences between the VA program and SSDI is that SSDI is an insurance program. To be eligible for SSDI, one of the requirements is that you must have paid into the Social Security system. That means you must have paid Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes, or Self-Employment Contributions Act taxes. If you become permanently disabled and can no longer work full-time, the money you paid into the system acts as an insurance policy for you.
In contrast, VA disability benefits are not an insurance-type benefit. The program is one of pure compensation. Benefits are awarded to veterans who were injured during military service.
Another difference between the two is that to receive SSDI disability benefits, you must be able to show through objective medical evidence that you are disabled within the SSA’s definition of that term.
According to the SSA, being “disabled” means that you have a medically determinable condition that prevents you from working full-time or long enough to earn a set monthly amount (known as “substantial gainful activity”) which has lasted, or is expected to last 12 months or to end in death. If the SSA does not find that you are “disabled” as they define that term, then you will be denied benefits. If you are found to be “disabled” and you are awarded benefits, you can still work – as long as you do not make more than the substantial gainful activity level. If you do, you will lose your benefits.
VA disability benefits do not have these same limitations. A veteran must be 10% disabled, but the benefit amount he/she can get is increases according to the degree of the Veteran’s disability, on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent. Veterans can also receive benefits for conditions that are related or secondary to their main disability, even if these conditions arise after service. Veterans can also earn as much money as their physical/mental condition will allow without losing their benefits.
Our active military servicemen and women don’t just do a “job.” Many of them give their lives, limbs, mental and physical health, to keep us safe.
Social Security Disability Attorneys in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma.
We are Social Security attorneys with offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and in several cities in Oklahoma. Social Security law is all we do. We are passionate about getting our clients the benefits they deserve. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us today to or connect with us on LinkedIn.