Some interesting Statistics about veterans and Social Security.
One quarter of Adult Social
Security beneficiaries are Veterans. Of the total population of adult Social Security beneficiaries 40% are made up
of veterans and their families. Since 1957 military personnel have been covered under Social Security.
are Social Security work credits handled for veterans?
If a veteran served in 2001 or earlier their earnings
receive special credits for purpose of computing Social Security benefits. Credits equal $300 for each quarter of active
duty pay for those who served between 1957 and 1977. If you served between 1978 and 2001 you receive credits equal
to an additional $100 in earnings for each $300 you received in active duty pay ( total credits may not exceed $1,200 a year). Starting
in 2002 credits are not supplemented.
For those veterans who served before the military was included
under the Social Security system in 1957 Congress has provided credits for those on active duty from September 1940 to 1956.
These veterans are credited with $160 of earnings for purpose of computing Social Security benefits.
Veterans Benefits for certain World War II Vets.
Special Veterans Benefits (SVB) are benefits funded by the Federal Government and are administered
by the Social Security Administration. Under the SVB program, special benefits are paid to certain veterans of World War II
who reside outside the United States.
SVB is authorized by Title VIII (Special Benefits for
Certain World War II Veterans) of the Social Security Act.
SVB is not the same as Supplemental Security
Income (SSI). It is a separate benefit program and is financed from the general funds of the United States Treasury.
Can you get both Social Security Benefits and Military Retirement?
Yes, and generally there
is no reduction in your Social Security Benefits due to your Military Retirement. In other words you get full
Social Security benefits based on your earnings. If you have health care benefits from the Department of Veteran's
Affairs your health care benefits may end or change when you become eligible for Medicare.
I am disabled for Social Security Disability or SSI different for veterans?
No, the definition of disability,
proof required, and eligibility is the same as every other claim for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits.
The only difference for veterans is the way work credits are calculated as explained above. To find out how Social Security
determines if you are disabled and for tips on how to win a Social Security Disability claim explore this site.
Questions and Answers: SSDI (SSD) and SSI for Veterans and Military Service
Can you get Social Security Disability
benefits and VA compensation benefits?
Yes, you can receive both SSDI benefits and VA compensation benefits at the same
time. However, VA pension and SSI (supplemental security income) are different and are needs based programs, so Social
Security will count VA pension when calculating SSI. Social Security Disability benefits may also reduce or eliminate VA
pension amounts. This is a quick review of these programs and if you are not sure what benefits you have it can be quite
confusing. If you are a veteran and getting or applying for VA pension or SSI than you should speak to a lawyer
to fully explain how they may be affected by other benefits.
Will military pay affect eligibility for Social Security disability benefits?
Although you cannot perform substantial gainful activity
and be eligible for Social Security disability, this does not mean you can't be eligible if you receive military
pay. Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not, in itself, necessarily prevent payment of disability benefits.
Substantial gainful activity means you are getting paid or making a profit due to substantial work activity. If you are receiving
treatment at a military medical facility and working in a designated therapy program or on limited duty, Social Security will
evaluate your work activity to determine your eligibility for benefits. In other words, the main factor that determines if
you are performing substantial gainful activity is the work activity you are doing and not the pay you receive or your military
What information does a veteran or present
member of the military need to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?
Let me start by telling you that even if you do not have all the documents and
information I am about to list, if you are disabled you should still apply as soon as possible. You will need your original
or certified copy of your birth certificate or proof of US citizenship or legal residency if foreign-born. If you are discharge
from the military you will need your DD 214. You also need your W-2 form or income tax return from last year. You should also
have any military or workers compensation and include proof of payment. SSA will also need the Social Security numbers of
your spouse and minor children. Social Security will also want a checking or savings account number if you have one. They
would also need the name address and phone number of a contact person in case you are unavailable and medical records that
you have and/or that you can easily obtained from all military and civilian sources. If you have difficulty obtaining any
of this information Social Security should help you get the missing information.
How does a veteran or military member apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?
The first thing you should know is you can apply at
any time while in military status or after discharge. This includes whether you are still hospitalized, in a rehabilitation
program, or undergoing outpatient treatment in the military or civilian medical facility. You can apply online at the Social Security website. You can also apply at your local or closest Social Security office by calling 1-800-772-1213
and make an appointment. You can also call a Social Security disability lawyer to help you with your claim. It helps if you
find a lawyer who handles both Social Security disability and VA claims. If you have any questions or need help with your
application feel free to call me at 1-877-527-5529 as I handle both VA compensation and Social Security disability claims.
Is there anything you can do to speed up your Social Security disability
your claim is a military service member claim it will be identified as such and entitle you to an expedited process. It has
been my experience in helping veterans and service-members with their applications for Social Security disability benefits,
that they do indeed get quicker decisions than those who have not served. Make sure to include your military service
on your application were it asks for it to be sure to get the quicker application process you are entitled to. To
further speed up your case do your best to help Social Security get all the information necessary and keep them updated as
to any changes in your address, doctors, hospitals or other information.
How does Medicare affect my TRICARE?
If you are entitled to Medicare, you should contact the Department of Defense
to find out how this may affect your TRICARE benefits. You may need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B (medical insurance)
to keep your TRICARE coverage. For general information about this coverage, please visit the TRICARE website. If you have been awarded retroactive disability benefits, you should contact the Department of Defense
to find out whether you need to elect retroactive Medicare Part B so you can keep your TRICARE. The Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act of 2010 provides for a 12-month Medicare Part B special enrollment period for TRICARE beneficiaries
who are entitled to Medicare Part A. The Department of Defense will notify eligible individuals about this period.