Service-Connected Veteran’s Disability Benefits
Dianna Cannon is certified as a social security disability attorney by the Veterans Administration. If you are a Veteran receiving service-connected disability benefits, then you may be entitled to also receive Social Security disability benefits and Medicare benefits. Contact or call us today at 800-732-2323 or 801-322-2121 to find out if we can help you maximize all of the benefits you are entitled to receive.
VA Disability Compensation
Are you a Veteran receiving “service-connected” disability benefits?
If you have been found disabled by the Veterans Administration and are eligible for service-connected disability compensation, you may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, in addition to your VA benefits. Basic service-connected benefit ranges from $133 to $3,068 per month, depending on your VA disability rating and in order to be eligible for both VA disability benefits and Social Security Disability benefits, you must have “service-connected” VA benefits. If you are receiving “non-service connected” VA disability benefits, any Social Security Disability benefits you may be entitled to will be offset from the VA benefits. In other words, you are not entitled to receive the two benefits without one being subtracted from the other, unless your VA benefits are “service-connected.”
Many Veterans are disabled due mental impairments, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Anxiety, Anger Management Issues, Schizo-Affective Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Personality Disorder. The number of disability cases due to PTSD has nearly tripled in the last 10 years, from around 345,000 cases in fiscal 2008 to more than 940,000 cases in 2018. Service-connected PTSD benefits now make up 22 percent of all veterans receiving compensation benefits from the Veterans Administration. If you are one of the Veterans receiving service-connected disability payments, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits for your mental disability.
As a Veteran, you may also be disabled due to physical injuries suffered during service, such as back impairments, leg or arm injuries, hearing or visual impairments, or loss of limbs. Beginning in 2001, the growth rate of service-connected disability increased substantially despite the overall decrease in the size of the veteran population. This increase coincides with the United States entering into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since October 2001, over 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Because of advancements in military medicine, more service members survive their wounds, some with complex impairments, than in previous wars. The most recent Department of Defense Casualty Update shows over 52,000 service members have been wounded in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the study, Invisible Wounds of War, thousands of service members have been diagnosed with “invisible wounds” once they returned home. Disability benefits, from both the Veterans Administration and the SSA, to replace your income because you cannot work due to your disability.
In terms of Social Security Disability benefits, if you are a Veteran qualify for 100% service-connected VA disability benefits you are entitled to have your Social Security Disability expedited. This means your SSD case should be subject to immediate advancement within the disability process, so that the SSA evaluates your case and all of your medical records as soon as possible after you have filed your initial application for benefits.
How Can You Apply for Service-Connected Disability Benefits?
If you think you are entitled to service-connected VA benefits, but you do not know how to obtain them, please note that Veterans can apply for disability benefits by filling out VA Form 21-526EZ, APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND RELATED COMPENSATION BENEFITS. If you have any of the following material, please attach it to your application:
- Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent)
- Dependency records (marriage & children’s birth certificates)
- Medical evidence (doctor & hospital reports)
You can also apply online here: www.ebenefits.va.gov.