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Supplemental Pay for Veterans

Did you know that you may be eligible for supplemental pay from Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits if your medical conditions will cause a severe impact on your ability to work?  SSA benefits are different than compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and require a separate application. If you are an active duty military service member or veteran and became disabled on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where your injuries occurred, you are eligible for expedited processing of disability benefits from the SSA.


The SSA pays disability benefits through two unique programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)


For you or your family to receive SSDI benefits, you have to be considered “insured” by the SSA. This means you have worked long enough for Social Security taxes to meet the eligibility for benefits.   In order to receive SSI benefits a financial need must be demonstrated.  Most veterans will qualify for either program.


You can apply for disability benefits while still of active duty.  Of course, veterans can apply at any time. You may apply in person at a Social Security Office near you. Or, you can call 800-772-1213 (TTY – 1-800-325-0778) between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. to schedule an appointment.













USERRA Helps Veterans

USERRA (Employment and Reemployment) gives members of the uniformed services re-employment protection and other benefits when military duty forces them to miss time from their civilian jobs. Provided that members of the Reserve Corps meet the eligibility criteria, USERRA mandates that returning service members must be promptly re-employed in the same position that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. Be sure your employer knows this important information if you are in the Guard or a Reservist.


Compensation for Parents

A Veteran whose parent(s) are dependent upon him/her for financial support may be paid additional benefits. Dependency of a parent is based on need. Both the parental relationship and financial dependency of the parent must be established to qualify for this benefit.


VA May Owe You Money

After a veteran dies, he or she technically no longer has a claim to disability benefits. However, there are certain circumstances in which a widow, widower or surviving child may be entitled to accrued benefits, or money from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)


If you're a surviving spouse or child, here are the circumstances in which you would be eligible to file for VA benefits:













1. There was a disability claim pending at the time of the veteran’s death.

2. A previously denied claim had new medical evidence in the VA claims file before the veteran died. 

3. A claim of clear and unmistakable error (CUE) was pending at the time of the veteran’s death. 

4. A veteran’s appeal on a denied disability claim was pending at death. 

5. The claim must be filed within one year after the veteran died.


If you're not sure whether you're eligible contact your nearest VSO.


Dependents Education Assistance Program

Spouses and children of living veterans who have been ruled by the VA to be "permanently and totally disabled" due to service, who died from any cause while considered permanently disabled due to service, or who are ruled by the VA to have died due to a service-connected disability qualify for an education benefit known as the Dependents Education Assistance Program (DEA).


Fry Scholarship

The Fry Scholarship allows spouses and children of those who died on active duty to use the post-9/11 GI Bill even if it wasn't officially transferred before the service member was killed.


Most Veterans Unaware of Their Benefits

Unfortunately, many veterans, disabled and able alike, are often unaware of the plentiful benefits available to them. The VA’s 2016 National Survey of Veterans found that 61% of respondents said “their understanding of available benefits was ‘a little’ or ‘not at all.'”  Somewhere, there is a disconnect in what’s available to veterans, and getting the word out.

Did You Know?

Women Veterans Day

Did you know June 12, 2021 is Women Veterans Day?  The day is the anniversary of the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act on June 12, 1948. The law officially allowed woman to serve in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.  Women Veterans Day, is a day marked to honor women who have served and who currently serve in the United States military.


Records Act

Did you know Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) introduced the RECORDS Act, legislation that directs the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) to fully reopen and report to Congress on its efforts to expedite the records requests of veterans who—in some cases—have waited over a year for documentation necessary to receive benefits?


Home Depot Discount

Did you know veterans, active duty service members, Reservists, and their dependents, can enjoy 20% off qualifying regular price purchases in Office Depot stores nationwide when they present a valid military ID, dependent ID or form of veteran ID at the time of purchase?












Provision Allows Benefits To Continue       

Did you know a little-noticed provision in Public Law 116-315, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, makes it easier for surviving spouses to continue receiving Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits if they remarry?  The law made changes to the remarriage rules for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).  Effective January 5, 2021, a veteran's surviving spouse who remarries after the veteran's death will remain eligible for the benefit paid by the VA if the spouse is at least 55 years old. The remarriage must have occurred on or after that date.


Treatment Summary Letter

Did you know joining a local Vet Center group may be helpful when making a claim for a psychological disability such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?   Not only will the therapeutic environment of group dynamics lead to better mental health, or individual therapy sessions help you gain insight into issues that are plaguing you, but after 2-3 months of attending group and/or individual sessions it would be prudent to request a Treatment Summary Letter from your counselor and include it in your disability package.  The Treatment Summary Letter is a powerful and condensed description of your mental disability.  It outlines how your mental disability disrupts your daily functioning at home, work, and in your immediate environment.  VA raters consider the Treatment Summary Letter crucial in determining rating levels for mental disabilities.  


Wait Times Significantly Reduced

Did you know Cornerstone Financial Services will help you get your benefits faster?  With industry expertise and relationship contacts, Cornerstone Financial Services will help veterans get their benefits in about half the time it would take through traditional channels.  Contact Cornerstone Financial Services today!

More Medical Issues From Beleaguered Base

Did you know dental issues have plagued numerous United States Marines veterans and their family members who were stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987?  The root cause of these problems has been traced back to hazardous chemicals contaminating the water supply from the base’s wells. This contamination resulted in various health issues, including prolonged dental problems, cancers, and birth defects.


5 New Presumptive Locations

Did you know the PACT Act added five new locations where it presumes a service connection to Agent Orange exposure? The following new location have been added:

  • Military bases in Thailand, January 9, 1962 - June 30, 1976
  • Laos, December 1, 1965 - September 30, 1969
  • Locations in Cambodia, April 16 - 30, 1969
  • Guam or American Samoa or territorial waters off either location, January 6, 1962 - July 31, 1980
  • Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called there, January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977