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Can you get Veterans' Disability and Social Security Disability?

A U.S. military veteran is eligible to receive simultaneous disability pay from both the Veterans' Administration and the Social Security Administration. However, it must be understood that the eligibility criteria for each program are vastly different, and approval for one does not ensure approval from the other.

To qualify for Social Security Disability, a person must have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year or to result in death. Medical evidence must substantiate all claimed impairments. If there are no medical records or proof of impairments, a claim may be denied. The Social Security Administration will occasionally send a claimant out for a consultative exam, at the Administration's expense, in order to gain a medical opinion and residual function capacity. In addition, the impairment must also prevent the person from working full-time performing substantial gainful activity, otherwise known as "SGA." Each year, the SSA sets monthly income limits for those drawing SSDI benefits. These are amounts that a person may work and earn in addition to a monthly disability check. The amounts increase every year with cost of living increases. For 2019, the monthly income limit is $1,180.

To qualify for Veterans' Disability, the Veteran must be able to medically confirm an injury or condition is service-related, among other criteria. While a Veterans' Affairs disability rating is reviewed and taken into consideration for a Social Security Disability decision, it does not guarantee approval. Anyone with questions about these benefits may need to get more information about their own unique circumstances.

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