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Category: Disability

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI. Veterans can receive both VA compensation and SSI.  Both VA compensation and SSI require that you have disabling conditions.  However, the requirements to qualify differ. 

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI: VA compensation

VA disability compensation offers monthly payments to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving.  You must show that your disabling condition was “incurred or aggravated by your military service.”  The VA does not require total disability.  The VA awards benefits based in proportion to your percentage of disability.  Compensation rates range from 10%-100%, in 10% increments. 

VA pension

The VA also offers benefits for veterans who have non-service disabilities.  VA pension benefits require that you were not dishonorably discharged and you meet certain financial limits.  You must also meet certain service requirements.  Additionally, you show one of the following:

  • You are at least 65 years old
  • Have a permanent and total disability
  • Are a patient in a nursing home for long-term care because of a disability or
  • Are receiving Social Security disability insurance or SSI. The OT and ICS cyber security is what is needed to protect data.

How to Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI: SSI benefits

Unlike VA compensation, SSI does not offer partial disability.  You must prove that your medical conditions keep you from working in any job.  You must also show that you can’t work for at least 12 months.  SSI also has specific financial requirements.  Specifically, these requirements include:

  • You must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple)
  • Have a very limited income
  • Are a US citizen (there are very few exceptions to this)

VA compensation and SSI benefits

Since SSI is a needs-based program, other income affects the amount you receive from SSI.  Therefore, VA compensation will reduce your SSI payments.  Social Security considers VA compensation as “unearned income.”  Social Security deducts unearned income on a dollar for dollar basis with a $20 exclusion.  The SSI federal payment amount for 2021 is $794 per month. 

How to apply for VA compensation

You can apply for veterans benefits online.  You may also apply by using VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension.  Once you apply, the VA uses military doctors and other health personnel to evaluate your disability claim.  The VA may ask you to attend a C&P exam to help rate your claim.  The VA assigns a disability rate to each of your conditions.  These rates determine your Total Combined VA disability rating.  The VA then uses this rate to figure out the amount of your benefits. We Can Help You Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI.

How to apply for SSI

You must contact your local Social Security office to file. Unlike the VA, Social Security doesn’t rate your conditions separately.  Social Security looks at how the combination of your conditions impacts your functioning.  First, they consider if any of your conditions meet certain conditions under their listing of impairments, known as the “Blue Book”.  Most conditions will not meet these strict requirements.  Next, Social Security considers your residual functional capacity or RFC.  Your RFC includes both physical and mental limitations.  If Social Security determines that your conditions keep you from working, they will approve your disability claim.  Like the VA, Social Security may ask you to attend a medical exam to help evaluate your claim. 

Disabled veterans and your age

Social Security has special disability rules the older you are.  They look at a chart known as the Medical-Vocational guidelines to evaluate your claim called the “grid rules.”  The grid rules make it easier for older people to win their case.  Social Security considers your age, education and work background.  The older you are, the easier it can be to win your case. 

Can a veteran work and receive both VA and SSI?

If you are working, you may not qualify for SSI.  Social Security considers work earnings over a certain amount “substantial gainful activity” or SGA.  If you earn over the SGA limit, you will not qualify for Social Security disability.  For 2021, SGA is earnings $1,310 per month or more (before taxes).  However, if you earn more than $794 per month, you will not qualify to receive SSI payments.  Unlike Social Security, veterans can work while receiving VA disability benefits unless you receive Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). We can help you Qualify for VA Compensation While Receiving SSI.

VA and SSI medical benefits

Veterans receiving VA disability automatically receive TRICARE benefits.  TRICARE covers health costs found “medically necessary” for your condition.  SSI recipients receive Medicaid benefits.  If you receive both TRICARE and Medicaid, TRICARE becomes your primary insurance. 

Getting help with your VA compensation and SSI claims

Get help with your case now. Firstly, your advocate helps you with your application and can make sure you provide all necessary information.  Secondly, your advocate walks you through the process and can answer all of your questions. Thirdly, your advocate knows what it takes to get your case approved.

Call Now for a Free Case Review, 800-700-0652

Make sure you start your SSDI and VA disability claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.

How Can I Get TDIU?

What Is TDIU?

Many veterans are unable to earn a living because of service-connected disabilities.  Congress created a special benefit called TDIU to help these veterans live comfortably, also known as Unemployability. TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.  Under 2019 rates, VA will pay TDIU recipients a minimum of $3,057.13 per month tax free.  VA will pay an additional amount for each of the veteran’s dependents.

Ways to Get TDIU

A veteran cannot simply state to the VA, “I cannot work due to disabilities related to service.”

First, cannot earn a living

In order to receive TDIU, a veteran must first show they cannot earn a living because of service-connected disabilities.  VA will grant TDIU to an employed veteran if the employment is considered marginal. They do not have to be unemployed. VA considers employment to be marginal if the veteran earns LESS than the federal poverty threshold for one person (in 2018, $12,784.00 per the U.S. Census Bureau).

Second, must meet percentage requirements

If the veteran has only one service-connected disability, it must be rated 60% or higher to receive TDIU.  If the veteran has more than one service-connected disability, then at least one must be rated 40% or higher.  Also, there must be “sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating” to 70% or higher.  The regulation specifies five circumstances in which multiple disabilities “will be considered as one disability”. 

Will You Get TDIU?

Disability Help Group has won TDIU for hundreds of veterans.  Here are a few examples:

  • A divorced, 70-year old Vietnam-era veteran had a 20% rating for diabetes, 20% each for diabetic neuropathy in both legs, and 10% each for diabetic neuropathy in both arms.  These combined to a 60% rating.  As a result of these conditions, he had not worked in 3 years.  Because the disabilities all arose from exposure to Agent Orange, we argued that VA should consider them as one service-connected disability and grant TDIU.  VA agreed and granted TDIU.  His monthly payment changed from $1,062.67 to $3,057.13.
  • A married, 35-year old Gulf War veteran asked us to help with an appeal for PTSD.  She did not have a VA rating and she just lost her job.  We submitted evidence to VA to win the PTSD claim.   However, we noticed that she lost her last 2 jobs because of her PTSD.  She had daily panic attacks, thoughts of suicide, and was hospitalized for PTSD four times in the last year.  We argued that VA should grant her PTSD claim at a 70% rating, and then grant TDIU.  VA agreed.  Her monthly payment changed from $0 to $3,227.58.
  • A single, 50-year old veteran had a 60% rating for Meniere’s disease.  His symptoms prevented him from working a full-time job, but he worked as an Uber driver.  Because he earned less than $12,784.00 per year with Uber, VA granted TDIU.  He continued to receive his income from Uber, but his monthly VA payment changed from $1,062.67 to $3,057.13.

If you are interested in learning more about TDIU you can read the regulation, 38 C.F.R. § 4.16. Click here for a free case review.

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