Military veterans deserve to have financial and health care support to treat disabilities they suffered in the service of their country. Fortunately, the Veterans Administration does a better job than it used to informing vets of the services and benefits available to them. What many veterans do not know, though, is that they may be able to qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration is different than qualifying through the Veterans Administration. For one thing, the VA requires that disabilities be service-connected before compensation can be awarded. In addition, the VA awards disability benefits on a percentage basis, so that a vet can be compensated according to their level of disability.
Neither of these things applies to the Social Security disability program. Those who have paid enough into the Social Security program and who meet the requirements can receive benefits, though partial benefits are not available—one is either disabled or not for purposes of SSDI. To qualify, one must have a disabling condition or conditions which leave one unable to earn a substantial income in any industry, and the disabling condition or conditions must be expected to last at least one year or to result in death.
Vets who have received a VA compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total disability are able to have their SSDI application given expedited consideration. Those who meet the requirements for a finding of disability can therefore receive benefits more quickly, which is a definite benefit.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Information For Wounded Warriors And Veterans Who Have A Compensation Rating Of 100% Permanent & Total,” Accessed October 21, 2014.