Supplemental Social Security
Many veterans may be eligible for supplemental pay from Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits if their medical conditions will cause a severe impact on their ability to work.
SSA benefits are different than compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and require a separate application.
Also, 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 P.M. to schedule an appointment.
Social Security Administration’s Initiative to Expedite Disability Claims
The Social Security Administration has a new initiative to expedite disability claims by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T). Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. In order to receive the expedited service, veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100%, Permanent and Total, and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter. Social Security launched the new expedited process in March 2016.