VA and Social Security Disability—What’s the Difference?

Veterans Administration (VA) disability compensation is a tax-free benefit available to veterans who incurred a disability while serving, or related to their service, in the military, such as a physical injury, chronic illness, or mental health condition. Social Security disability benefits, on the other hand, are available to disabled individuals who aren’t able to competitively work full-time – civilians or veterans. While there are a number of differences between the two, the most important distinction between VA and Social Security disability benefits is the way the Social Security Administration (SSA) and VA define “disability.”

According to the SSA’s definition, an applicant is either completely disabled and unable to work, or he or she isn’t disabled at all. The VA, on the other hand, bases its definition on the severity of an applicant’s condition(s) as well as the impact on work. The VA evaluates each disability separately and assigns a separate rating to each disability. Below is some additional information about VA benefits.

VA benefits information

In order to be eligible to receive VA disability benefits, the applicant must qualify as a veteran, have been discharged under conditions that weren’t dishonorable, and prove a nexus that demonstrates the condition(s) is related to caused by time in service.

Evidence required: In order to demonstrate that an applicant meets the requirements above, the following evidence should be submitted:

Service treatment records
Discharge or separation papers
Medical reports
Reports from government agencies or employers

Compensation: The amount of compensation that an applicant will be awarded depends on the severity of his or her disability. In addition, an applicant with dependents who is at least 30% disabled can receive additional compensation. The VA awards benefits based on a rating scale with differing amounts of compensation.

Length of benefits: VA disability benefits ordinarily last for as long as an applicant is disabled. Typically, an applicant is evaluated six months after his or her discharge and between two to five years after that. However, there are certain circumstances that must be met, and laws that the VA must follow, when re-considering veterans conditions depending on how long the veteran has been receiving their benefit.

Michigan Disability Law Attorneys

If you are a veteran and would like to receive disability benefits due to PTSD and/or some other medical condition, the skilled disability law attorneys at Disability Law Group are here to assist you. At Disability Law Group, our experienced Michigan attorneys will be by your side during every step of the process, from filing your initial application for VA disability benefits to appealing your denial in court, if necessary. From your very first call, and throughout the entire process, our experienced disability lawyers will provide you with the exceptional service and compassionate treatment you deserve.

So, if you live in Macomb County, Oakland County, or Wayne County, Michigan (or throughout the U.S. for VA disability claims), and would like to apply for disability benefits or fight a denial, Disability Law Group is on your side. At Disability Law Group, disability is all we do. Please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.