|Natalia:||Welcome to the Hill & Ponton Social Security Disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, the Social Security Director at our firm.|
|Shelly:||My name is Shelly Mark. I am the Senior Social Security Attorney here at the firm.|
|Natalia:||Today we’re going to talk a little bit about veteran’s disability benefits and how you can get those in combination with social security disability. How does that work? How does it get offset? Does it get offset? Can you get both? There’s an array of questions. We do veteran’s disability claims here at Hill & Ponton and we also do social security disability, so just those two types of disability. We don’t do any other type of law, so of course, we have that question come up a lot. We realize talking about this on our own, this could really branch out to all sorts of different topics, so we’re going to do a little mini-series. There’ll be several videos explaining different aspects of this, but I guess to kick it off, do you want to talk a little bit about what you find?|
|Shelly:||Sure. Anyone that’s receiving VA benefits can definitely apply for social security disability. As long as the VA benefits that they are receiving are service contacted, then receiving the disability from social security in conjunction with that will not have any negative effect. If they’re receiving a pension from the VA, which is more of an income based program, probably a lot fewer people are receiving that, but in that situation we’re going to have to look and see, which is the higher amount because it will affect their benefit. It will reduce it.|
|Natalia:||Yeah. That pension is also known as non-service connected benefits and so people say, “Will my non-service connected benefits be affected by social security disability?” The answer is, yes because non-service connected benefits are income based and they’re affected by income and vice versa. If you’re getting SSI, which is social security’s income based benefit, then that benefit can be affected by any income including your veteran’s non-service connected benefits, so I guess the take away regarding this part, in particular, is, it depends on which benefit you’re getting from social security whether it’s going to be affected or not and whether you non-service connected benefits going to be affected or not.|
|Shelly:||Yeah. I’d say, with us, probably 90 plus percent of our cases are veterans that are service connected and we’re able to file their disability claims with social security so that they can receive both. I’ve had someone ask me before, “Does that mean I’m double dipping?” Absolutely not. Your VA service connection is paid to you because of injuries you sustained on active duty and your social security disability, that is like an insurance premium that you paid while we were working, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing both.|
|Natalia:||Yeah. Obviously, if you’re disabled, this could help you immensely.|
|Natalia:||The takeaway here is, if you’re a veteran that’s disabled, apply for social security disability. Why deny yourself that benefit? Don’t try to figure it out on your own. Have the application taken, if you don’t qualify, you’re going to be told why that is, but if it’s for any reason, other than income, so if they’re saying medical, you’re not disabled enough, you haven’t been out of work enough, whatever, we can help you with all that. Or, you can pursue the claim on your own, okay, but, the point being, don’t assume that there’s going to be an offset.|
|Natalia:||Because most of the time, in the cases that we handle, there are not and you can get two full benefits.|
|Natalia:||Which also means that you get insurance, medicare, in addition to your ability to get treatment through the VA.|
|Natalia:||That’s a whole other topic. We’ll talk about that in another video. For now, thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.|
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