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The relationship between veterans' disability and SSD claims

One question that might arise in the minds of former soldiers in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area is whether they can get both veterans' disability benefits through the Department of Veterans' Affairs and get Social Security disability payments through the Social Security Administration. These heroes, many of whom have been wounded while serving their country, may also have some questions about the relationship between these two programs.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that a wounded veteran, so long as his or her disability occurred in the connection with military service, can apply for both veterans' benefits and Social Security disability. However, the processes of doing so are, for the most part, separate and unrelated, and the fact a person qualifies for veterans' benefits does not mean he or she will qualify for Social Security, and vice versa.

Moreover, the standard the Social Security Administration uses to determine whether someone is disabled is different from that used by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Specifically, a North Carolina resident might be able to collect veterans' benefits for a partial disability, meaning the person may still be able to go to work regularly. On the other hand, Social Security only pays benefits when a person is not capable of maintaining suitable employment.

The good news, though, is that, unlike other state and federal benefits, a veteran who draws disability payments through the Department of Veterans' Affairs will not as a result have his or her Social Security disability payments reduced, even if the combined benefits mean the person makes almost as much or even as much as he or she did while working.

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  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Protecting People’s rights
  • NOSSCR National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
  • American Association for Justice formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America ATLA
  • ABA American Bar Association
  • NOVA
  • North Carolina State Bar
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