Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) offers monthly payments to people who are unable to work due to a disability. But what if the disabled person is a wounded veteran or a disabled military service member? SSDI and Veteran’s benefits both may be available.
General Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Veterans qualify for SSDI benefits just like any other applicant:
- They must have a disability that prevents them from working; and
- They must have earned the right number of work credits.
Another SSA benefit may provide support to disabled military service members: Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The primary difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSI is a needs-based program. In other words, benefit recipients must fall under income and resource limits to qualify.
Disabled military personnel may have other options.
A Program for Veterans
The SSDI for Wounded Veterans program is offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), not the Veterans Administration (VA). Military service members apply directly to the SSA for SSDI benefits. At the beginning of the application process, veterans and active military staff should make sure the SSA caseworkers know whether a disability occurred while on active military duty. Benefits may be available no matter how the veteran is disabled, including injuries suffered while on duty.
To qualify, active duty military must be:
- Wounded or ill,
- Unable to work or recovering in a hospital;
- Receiving treatment at a military hospital or medical facility,
- Participating in physical therapy,
- Unable to perform their assigned duties; or
- Assigned to limited duty.
If eligible, disabled warriors could receive SSDI in addition to their normal pay and benefits. Another perk for military service members: faster processing than civilians.
Additional Information for Veterans
It’s possible to remain on active duty and receive SSDI. However, military personnel receiving SSDI must contact the SSA if there are any changes in:
- Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code;
- Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC); and
- Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC).
As with civilians, a change in work status may indicate that a service member is no longer eligible for disability benefits.
SSDI and Veteran’s Benefits May Be an Option
Talk to an experienced California disability lawyer about your case.
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.