Many injured veterans often wonder if they can obtain both Social Security disability benefits and veterans’ benefits.
Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) allows veterans to receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if they are unable to work due to a service-related disability. Eligibility for TDIU is established by evaluating the veteran’s medical condition to determine his or her degree of disability. The percentage of disability is determined on a rating scale and the amount of benefits is based on the percentage of disability.
Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) provide payments to disabled persons – whether a veteran or not – who have earned enough “credits” through the payment of social security taxes deducted from their paycheck. Unlike Supplemental Security Income, there are no limitations on income or assets. The number of work “credits” required to receive SSDI varies depending on your age at the time of disability. For more information, the calculation of work credits, visit this page.
In some cases, a disabled veteran may be eligible for both TDIU benefits and SSDI benefits since SSDI is a “work for pay” program in which the veteran has earned his or her benefits through previous employment. Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides needs-based benefits to disabled persons who meet certain eligibility requirements, including falling below specific income and asset thresholds. In these cases, TDIU benefits may offset any SSI benefits.
Oftentimes, a disabled veteran will be awarded SSDI benefits before receiving VA benefits. In these cases, any social security disability awards can be helpful to the TDIU application process if the SSDI award covers the same disability as the TDIU claim.
The claims process for TDIU and SSDI benefits can be complicated, confusing, and lengthy. Accordingly, it is helpful to consult with a knowledgeable disability attorney to help guide you through the maze of legal requirements and benefit application procedures.
The Chicago disability law firm of Ankin Law Office, LLC focuses on helping disabled individuals, including disabled veterans, obtain the full range of benefits to which they are entitled. Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about TDIU and SSDI disability benefits.