Crowe & Shanahan
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Can I receive both Veterans' and Social Security Disability?

Disabled veterans struggling to make ends meet on the monthly Veterans Administration (VA) stipend they receive may find it refreshing to learn that they too may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments.

While any member of the armed forces who was injured while on active duty will generally qualify for VA benefits, the requirements that an individual must meet to receive SSDI benefits is different. A veteran's condition must serious enough that it makes it impossible for them to work in order to qualify for SSDI.

The process that an individual has to go through to qualify for VA benefits is different from SSDI one.

In the case of the VA benefits qualifying process, a caseworker will be assigned to your case to review your medical records from when you were on active duty. They'll assign you an impairment score of anywhere between zero and 100. Any benefits that the caseworker decides that you're entitled to will be prorated based on how disabled you're determined to be.

An individual can only receive SSDI if they meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA) total disability criteria. An applicant must meet one of two different conditions in order to qualify to receive SSDI. They must either be terminally ill or have a medical condition that is expected to prevent them from working for a year or more.

Veterans who are assigned disability ratings of 10 percent or less generally will have a difficult time qualifying to receive SSDI benefits. They often only qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in such a case if they developed an additional disabling illness or injury after having completed their active duty military service.

On the flip side of the coin, veterans with an impairment rating of 70 percent or greater frequently have an injury that is serious enough that it makes qualifying for SSDI benefits more realistic.

Unlike other disability programs, VA benefits cannot be affected by SSDI awards.

A large number of first-time SSDI benefits applications end up getting declined because an applicant fails to provide adequate medical records or proof that their condition prevents them from working. One benefit to working with a St. Louis SSD attorney who provides one-on-one personal representation is that you'll always have access to them as your case travels through the administrative and legal process.

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