Qualifying For Military Benefits
Military veterans may be eligible for tax-free monthly monetary benefits based on their current circumstances, discharge conditions and record of service. While the U.S. Department of Defense offers a variety of benefits to meet health and income needs, three of the most common are disability, veterans and retirement pensions.
Can I Qualify For Dic Benefits Regardless Of My Income
Yes. There are no income limits on DIC recipients. In other words, it does not matter how much money you make with this particular VA survivors benefit program
You could make a thousand dollars a month. You could make ten thousand dollars a month. You can still qualify for DIC benefits because this particular program is not based on income, needs, or assets.
Many survivors of veterans get confused about this issue because of a separate VA program known as survivors pension. That program is based on your income and assets. Because the DIC program focuses on whether a veteran died as a result of a service connected condition, DIC does not focus on the income or assets of survivors.
Can You Get Va Benefits And Social Security
Answer itVAbenefitscan receive VASocial Securityreceive SSIVA
In this way, do veterans receive Social Security?
Social Securityveteranscan receiveVeteransveterans
Is Social Security offset by military retirement?
Social Securitymilitary retirementSocial SecuritymilitarySocial Security
Do pensions affect Social Security benefits?
pensionaffect Social Security benefits
If I Qualify For Va Disability Will I Automatically Qualify For Social Security Disability
No. You must qualify for each separately. Winning approval for one type of benefits does little to nothing to boost your chances of getting another.
If the VA grants you disability, it does not mean that an approval for Social Security Disability will follow, or vice versa. Remember, the VA system awards benefits for varying degrees of disability, while the SSA system makes a determination of disabled or not disabled.
If the SSA approves you for SSDI or SSI, you still must prove to the VA that your condition is service-connected, which is not an easy thing to do. Without sufficient evidence, the VA can call into question whether your medical condition arose as a result of an event in your military service or is otherwise related to your military service.
Note: If you have a Permanent and Total disability rating from the VA, you can receive expedited processing for an SSI or SSDI claim.
What Are Ssdi And Sdi
SSDI, also known as Social Security Disability Insurance, is offered to those who have qualifying disabilities or conditions regardless of whether they have served in the United States military. SSDI is a federal-level benefit you earn after working long enoughafter having earned 40 credits.
How are the 40 credits calculated? According to the Social Security Administration those credits are earned by your work and payments into the Social Security fund for a maximum of four credits per year. The credits are based on your total earnings during the year and the requirement to earn those credits is subject to review and change.
Some may earn more credits than they can use in a lifetime, but this does not increase the level of benefit or payment amounts.
Social Security benefits have medical requirements and non-medical criteria. Those meeting the non-medical requirements are paid benefits when it is determined their medical issues are expected to last a minimum of one year or result in the death of the patient.
Social Security Insurance, also known as SSI, is similar to SSDI in some ways, but is a need-based benefit and subject to income caps. Such caps mean that if you draw VA disability pay but not military retirement pay, you may qualify for SSI.
Quick Breakdown Of SSA Benefits
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Whats The Net Worth Limit To Be Eligible For Veterans Pension Benefits
From December 1, 2021, to November 30, 2022, the net worth limit to be eligible for Veterans Pension benefits is $138,489.
On October 18, 2018, we changed the way we assess net worth to make the pension entitlement rules clearer. Net worth includes your and your spouses assets and annual income. When you apply for Veterans Pension benefits, youll need to report all of these assets and income.
Note: If your child’s net worth is more than the net worth limit, we don’t consider them to be a dependent when we determine your pension.
Read our definitions below:
How Does Fers Disability Affect Ssdi
A: When you initially apply for FERS Disability Retirement, you must also apply for Social Security Disability Insurance . If you are approved for SSDI it will offset your disability retirement annuity. However, you do not have to be approved for SSDI to be approved for FERs Disability Retirement.
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For Veterans With No Dependents:
|If you have no dependents and||Your MAPR amount is|
|If you have no dependents and||You dont qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits||Your MAPR amount is||14,753|
|If you have 1 dependent and||You qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits||Your MAPR amount is||29,175|
- If you have more than one dependent, add $2,523 to your MAPR amount for each additional dependent.
- If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $12,950.
- If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount thats above 5% of your MAPR amount .
New Va Rules That Impact The Consideration Of Income For Pension Eligibility
In September of 2018, the VA released several new rules, all of which have an effective date of 10/18/18. One such rule establishes a net worth limit for VA pension eligibility purposes. For 12/01/20-9/30/2021, the limit is $130,773.. Prior to this new rule, there was no clearly defined net worth limit.
Another of the new rules is related to both the new net worth limit and an applicants income. Under this new rule, ones annual income must be added to ones net worth. Those who have unreimbursed medical expenses can subtract some of those expenses from their countable income. According to current 2021 pension rate charts, you may deduct only the amount thats above 5% of your MAPR amount. For example, say an applicant with no dependents has $9,000 in annual income. After subtracting 5% of his MAPR, his unreimbursed medical expenses total $3,000, so his countable income is actually just $6,000. Now, say the applicant has $110,000 in assets. With the addition of the $6,000 in countable income, his net worth is $116,912.
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Veterans And Social Security
Most veterans are eligible for both Social Security payments and benefits tied to their military service. In 2019, more than 9 million veterans received Social Security benefits. The majority of beneficiaries served from 1955 to the end of the Vietnam War in the mid-1970s. Qualifying for these benefits requires working for a minimum number of years, although in some cases military pay may qualify for Social Security earnings during active duty or training.
Effects On The Budget
The largest source of uncertainty in the estimate of savings over the next 10 years involves determining the number of new disability beneficiaries who will be 67 after January 2020. The number of veterans age 67 and older who receive disability compensation has increased in the past decade as Vietnam veterans have aged. CBO projects that the number of new recipients age 67 and older will decline in the coming years as the share of the veterans’ population in that age group falls. However, the health of the veteran population also affects the number of older veterans on the rolls, as do outreach efforts by VA and others to inform veterans about the benefit and other factors.
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Ssi Income And Va Disability
Unlike SSI , Social Security Disability Insurance is not need-based, but rather based upon an individual’s capacity for gainful employment. Therefore, receiving military retirement benefits will not affect a candidates eligibility for SSDI.
The only exception to this is if you’re receiving VA pension, which is for very needy veterans who are disabled outside of active duty and have limited income or assets. People on VA pension may be eligible for SSI benefits, as both programs are designed for people with disabilities who are needy.
Additional Eligibility Rules For Housebound Benefits
Housebound benefits also require that you be substantially and permanently confined to your home because of your disabilities. If you aren’t confined to your home, you can show that you have one disability rated at 100% and another at 60% or more to qualify for Housebound Benefits.
If you are age 65 or older, even though you are presumed disabled, to get housebound benefits you still have to show that you are confined to your home or have a disability that is rated at 60% or higher.
In addition to the pension, you can receive Housebound Benefits or A& A, but not both.
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Does Getting Benefits In One Program Help Getting Benefits In The Other Program
Does having one benefit make getting the other benefit any easier? Overall, the answer is maybe it depends on your circumstances.
VA approval does not help get Social Security disability. In the past, if you were the recipient of a very high VA rating , your chances for success on your Social Security disability claim were quite good. In past decisions, federal circuit courts found that VA disability ratings were entitled to “great weight.”
In 2017, Social Security published new regulations saying that Social Security will no longer take VA approvals for disability compensation into account when deciding whether to grant disability benefits. In addition, written denials or hearing decisions from Social Security will no longer provide any information on whether the agency considered the VA’s approval in its determination.
Social Security will, however, consider any evidence that the VA took into account in making its own disability determination. The VA and the Department of Defense share medical records electronically with Social Security, which will use the evidence in evaluating its applications for Social Security disability insurance and SSI. Social Security may also use VA or DOD evidence to expedite processing of claims for Wounded Warriors and veterans with a 100% disability compensation rating.
For more information on applying for Social Security disability, see our article on disability benefits for veterans.
Talk To A Disability Lawyer
Need a lawyer? Start here.
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How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability
You need to submit a disability application with Social Security, either online, by phone, or in person by going to your local Social Security office. You’ll also need to fill out a disability report regarding your medical condition, and a work history report.
You can submit your own medical records from both the VA and any private doctors or hospitals where you have been treated over the course of the last year or so, or Social Security will request the records for you. It can help speed up your claim if you submit the records yourself.
What Is The Work Bonus
The work bonus is an incentive to encourage older pensioners who are able, to continue working. Under the work bonus rules, the first $300.00 of work bonus income earned per fortnight is excluded from the income test.
Example: A work bonus eligible pensioner receives wages of $700.00 per fortnight. When their income is calculated for the income test, the first $300.00 is disregarded, so the assessable wages income is the remaining $400.
Additionally, a work bonus bank allows eligible pensioners to accrue any unused amounts of the $300.00 fortnightly exemption to a maximum of $7,800.00. Any credit in this bank can then be used to offset employment income that would otherwise be assessable in the future.
To be eligible you must be over qualifying age/pension age . For more information on Work Bonus refer to Work Bonus.
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Paying Family Members As Care Providers
Paying family members for care is complicated and requires expertise, supporting documentation and detailed record keeping. It is strongly advised that veterans and / or their families seek outside assistance in planning and applying if they are not highly confident they can adhere to the VAs strict regulations.
Perhaps the most attractive and under-utilized component of the VA Aid & Attendance and Housebound pensions is the fact they can and should be used to pay family members or friends for the care they are providing the aging veteran or their spouse. How this works can be confusing.
1) A veteran hires their family member to provide care.
2) The veteran pays the family member and documents those payments as Unreimbursed Medical Expenses .
3) These expenses are deducted from the veterans income. Therefore, their pension benefit is increased by the same amount they are paying their family member. By doing this, the family member receives compensation at no additional cost to the veteran.
As discussed above, the importance of providing supporting paperwork for this type of arrangement is paramount Both for the reporting of the caregivers income to the IRS and for reporting the care recipients income to the VA. For the protection of all parties involved, it is strongly recommended that a caregiver contract be created. For more information about paying family members and how best to handle a caregiver contract, please contact a veterans benefits planner.
What If I Have Too Much Income Or Too Many Assets
If you have a high level of income or assets that prevents you from receiving the age pension, you may be able to receive a fortnightly income stream through the Pension Loans Scheme.
If your income is within the limits that would allow you to receive payment of the age pension, but your assets exceed the cut-off limit, you may qualify under the hardship provisions. For more information refer to Ask us not to count some assets in assets test.
If you are not receiving an age pension and your income is within the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card income limits, you may be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
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Taking Advantage Of Veterans Savings Plans
The federal government sponsors a special veterans savings and retirement plan called the Thrift Savings Plan . The TSP is a defined contribution plan, similar to 401s.
Established as part of the Federal Employees Retirement System Act of 1986, the plan includes tax incentives and professionally managed funds. Because this account is designed for long-term savings, it carries penalties for early withdrawals.
Veterans can also choose a Roth-type TSP, which can include contributions from tax-exempt combat pay and can draw interest over a period of years.
Qualifying For Va Disability Helps Your Ssdi Claim
The Social Security Administration will take a VA disability approval into consideration when evaluating your SSDI claim. As mentioned previously, high VA disability approval ratings usually mean youll be approved for SSDI benefits. The same unfortunately cannot be said for SSDI approval and a VA disability claimbecause you must have been disabled while on active duty to get VA disability, the VA will usually not take an SSDI approval into consideration when evaluating your claim.
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Can You Get A Va Pension And Social Security
It is also possible to receive SSI and VA pension at the same time. If youre eligible, its best to qualify for VA disability compensation and Social Security disability insurance, since they generally pay more generous benefits than VA pension and SSI, but you should be aware of the other needs-based programs.
Expenses That Can Be Deducted From Income
Non-medical care costs such as home care or assisted living can be deducted from income.
The ability to deduct expenses when calculating Income for VA Purposes is the secret sauce to gaining eligibility for the VA Aid & Attendance and Housebound Pensions. In short, the VA allows applicants to deduct their unreimbursed medical expenses from their income.
Keep in mind that the definition of unreimbursed medical expenses is very broad and is by no means limited to what we think of as medical, in the classic sense. In other words, its important to recognize that many non-medical care costs are deductible. Examples of UMEs might include Medicare premiums, supplemental health insurance, medical alert subscriptions, and care expenses.
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Can You Collect Social Security If You Are A Veteran
With that in mind, individuals who are receiving VA benefits due to a disability incurred through military service can apply for maximum Social Security benefits as they see fit. If youe a veteran getting VA benefits because of a non-service related disability, your Social Security benefits are not affected.