SSA Disability Benefits Unused by Veterans Could Double Benefits
Online PR News – 20-December-2013 –The Senate today voted in favor of a budget bill which would cut pension benefits for disabled veterans by 1%. If signed by President Obama, the bill would ease for 2 years the mandatory across-the-board sequestration reductions previously mandated by Congress. Sequestration would have eliminated $45 billion in the 2014 budget year. The current bill would cut $6 billion over 10 years from the veteran benefits of military wounded retirees in addition to about half the cuts already underway under sequestration.
Senator Jeff Sessions (D-AL) attempted to replace the veteran cut with an estimated $4.2 billion reduction in an IRS credit illegal immigrants have claimed, but failed to get support for the substitution.
In a 2006 report to the Congressional Budget Office by Allison Percy, principal analyst to the veterans' disability Benefits Commission, he revealed that only 15% of disabled veterans claim disability under Social Security.
Veterans are the only group of individuals who are permitted to obtain disability benefits under both the Veterans program and Social Security. Yet, few seek or are aware of this law. Often, these additional benefits would double or exceed the amount they receive from VA benefits alone. The only significant difference between the 2 agency programs is that the VA assigns percentages of disability which determine the amount of benefits awarded while the SSA program is all or nothing.
The Social Security insured program is based on earned credits. For veterans these credits are greatly increased so that they qualify for a much longer time than any others under the SSDI (Social Security disability Insurance program). Moreover, the standards of judgment used by Social Security for disability are very similar to those used by the VA. Mr. Percy stated in his report, “ In considering the issue of multiple benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance stands out in particular because it is the largest federal program that, like VA disability compensation, is designed to replace earnings that are lost because of a disability.” And later in the report, “[A]bout 15 percent of veterans who are receiving VA disability compensation also receive payments from SSDI.”
Frederick A. Johnson, President of Disability Income Associates, is author of "How To Apply For & Win Social Security Disability Benefits." He has been a Social Security disability representative for 24 years and is an online adviser for the American Dystonia Society, a research organization with over 500 members, and writes regularly for Dystonia magazine, published by Dystonia.org.