Matt Hill: Hello and welcome to another Hill and Ponton video blog. I’m Matthew Hill here with Carol Ponton. Today we would like to talk to you about the intersection of the 2 areas of law we practice. VA Disability benefits and Social Security Disability benefits. All the time we’re asked is there an offset of one benefit from the other, meaning if you received social security benefits is it offset by VA, you have to reduce one or the other. The answer is …
Carol Ponton: It’s somewhat confusing but …
Matt Hill: It depends.
Carol Ponton: It depends. There is regular social security disability that you’re granted benefits because you’re disabled and because you worked and paid social security disability benefits. There is no offset. If that’s what you get. There are VA benefits that you get that are for service connected problems. It’s not a pension, it’s not given to you because you’re disabled and you don’t have much income. It’s given to because these conditions are related to what happened to you in service. Those 2 types, there’s no offset.
There are other types, there’s a social security it’s called supplemental security income and there’s a VA pension. Those are both related to your income as well as disability. If that’s what you have, yes there could be an offset. The majority of people are getting regular social security disability benefits, either through the disability program or retirement program. Those are not offset with regular VA disability benefits that are related to something that happened to you in the service. A lot of times people are hesitant to file for one or the other, thinking they’re going to be offset. That is normally not the case. You should check both of them out.
Matt Hill: That being said, if you have supplemental security income, SSI or non service connected pension you need to be aware when you get benefits from the other. If you had SSI and then you had service connected benefits, if the social security administration finds that out and keeps on paying you the SSI, there will be an over payment which they will come and try to collect from you. Same thing from the other side. If you’re receiving a non service connected pension and you win social security disability benefits, the VA probably won’t find that out.
Carol Ponton: When they do, they will. When they find it out.
Matt Hill: Years later. They’ll come back and want all that money back. That is something to be aware of.
Carol Ponton: You ask, how can they take it back? They just stop paying you.
Matt Hill: Yeah. That’s something to be aware of, but I agree with Carol, service connected disability compensation and social security disability income. Those are benefits that you have earned, earned through representing our country with the service connected compensation. Then the social security disability income through paying into the system. You definitely want to collect on both of those when you’re eligible.
Carol Ponton: Right.
Matt Hill: Evidence from one can help the other, as far as proving your claim.
Carol Ponton: When the VA decides whether you’re entitled to unemployability, they want to see whether you’re on social security disability. That’s very important to them in deciding whether you are unemployable.
Matt Hill: Thank you for joining us today on this question.