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Q184: I am on a veterans disability pension that is non-service connected disability but I am on a disability pension as per my Navy contract. I also paid into social security my whole life. Why am I not allowed to have both of these payments? The VA says that if I get the social security, they will take dollar for dollar out of my disability pension. My point is that I have two contracts with the government, but they are using one to cancel the other. I am being forced to live in poverty. I receive $1100 dollars a month from the VA pension. If I was also allowed to have my $700 dollars a month from social security, my life would be very good. Right now I am forced to live very poor. Is there any way for me to get both of my contracts with the Government paid?
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A1: You do not have any contracts with the VA. The VA Pension limit is set by our Congress and the income limit is very low, and is not in place to afford the person to live a certain lifestyle but it allows the person to live just above the poverty limit. The VA has NOT told you that you can't draw Social Security at the same time, because you can do both. What you're not doing is not subtracting the unreimbursed medical expenses you have for the prior year which brings down the Gross income. I would suggest you find a Veteran Service Office and have that office help you with the application, because again you can draw both. I don't know your home State but send me an e-mail and I will put you in touch with one. (JY) 11/10/18
A2: The determination of drawing SS while drawing VA compensation solely lies with the SS Administration..go to your county SS Admin. office and file for your SS or SSA and they in return will send you to a Dr. for a examination..if he deems you to be disabled then he will send his report to the SS Admin office..they in return will notify you if you can draw your SS or not...I did all the steps as I mentioned at age 55 yrs old and they approved my SS and I still drew my VA Conpensation..I am now 68 yrs old and have never missed a payment...I hope this helps you...(KS) 11/10/18
A3: You are receiving disability that is not Service Connected and have been receiving due to a program that offsets the use off Social Security benefits. If you were receiving as a result of your military service and it were classified as Service Connected that would then be declared as pension and retired you from the military which would be 2 different classifications. You are eligible to retire and receive disability benefits then. (GB) 11/11/18
A4: I just found out that I can not even put in for SSI or SSDI for I am over 65 now at 69. It is only set up for those under 65 unless maybe if you are already getting it. Not only see a VSO such as DAV, VFW, American Legion Office for help for they are right if you paid into social security you can get it. See social security for a clarification as well write to your congressman for if the VA is playing games with you then they may back off if they are lying to you which would be no surprise. If your disability is caused from working for the VA then you have the right to sue them as well and that could go into 2 or 3 million in damages for what they are putting you thru. I get 100 percent service connected and have 4 more years to go but imagine when I turn 70 the VA will take away 10 percent unemployability and have more conditions or severity has gotten worse so even I am tempted to sue them if they deny what they say is not related to my type II diabetes which all my conditions are related. They lie to save the government money but if you lie they stab you in the back. I have always been honest dealing with anyone and had a boss tell me I was too honest and now she may have been right. If you lie then you have to remember what lie which never pays but in VA case they lie and have for years and gotten away with it. Best of Luck to you and if your under 65 put in for SSDI or SSI if your conditions are bad enough and don't be discouraged for most get denied by social security at least 2 to 3 times but keep after them. Seems any government agency makes their own rules and commit fraud all the time and no penalties for it. (JRM) 11/11/18
A5: Many veterans find the differences between the VA Disability Program and the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) confusing. First off, veterans should know that these programs, though both run by the federal government, differ in terms of eligibility, the burden of proof required, and the amount of benefits you receive. Veterans are usually eligible for both programs, and eligibility is determined by the administering department. Importantly, a veteran is usually eligible for both programs, and should apply to both programs separately. A veteran can also receive full benefits in both programs because his or her eligibility for each program is determined separately. If a veteran qualifies under both programs, and proves disability under their respective rules, he or she can receive benefits under both programs at the same time. If your VA benefits are service-connected, there will be no reduction in the amount you receive under each program. If your VA benefits are non-service connected, or you are only eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits under the Social Security program (SSI), then there will likely be a reduction in benefits. Always check with a Veteran Service Organization who have been trained in this arena. (GB) 11/12/18