I am a veteran and I have a disability. Am I eligible for Social Security benefits?
It's not uncommon for veterans to receive both Social Security and veteran disability benefits.
There are several kinds of benefits from Social Security that you may be able to get.
1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Benefits to disabled wage earners and some members of their families if the former wage earners are "insured."
- Must have worked long enough to become “insured” and work must be recent
- No resource or asset limits
2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A means-tested benefit program for the aged (65+), blind, or disabled.
- Work history does not matter
- Monthly maximum payment is the Federal Benefit Rate
- Usually $771 for an individual and $1,157 for a disabled couple in 2019
- Resource or asset limit of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple
3. Social Security Retirement: Benefits paid once you have reached your full retirement age.
- Your full retirement age is based on when you were born and can be as early as age 62 or as late as age 70
- If you choose to take “early retirement" then your monthly benefits will be reduced, and continuing to work can affect your benefit amount
If you are getting VA disability compensation and then apply for Social Security benefits, Social Security will review any evidence that the VA reviewed in making their decision.
NOTE: While you don’t need to be totally disabled to be eligible for VA disability compensation, you are either totally disabled or not disabled under Social Security's definition of disability.