The VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) offers disability benefits for people who left the service with some form of impairment. However, if you’re unable to work because of a service-related disability, you may also apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Below is an overview of these two programs and when you may qualify to receive payments from both the VA and the Social Security Administration.

VA Benefits

The VA provides cash disability benefits to veterans with service-related medical conditions that limit their ability to work. Unlike the SSA, the VA offers partial disability based on a veteran’s medical condition. 

For instance, if your service resulted in a 50% hearing loss, the VA may determine that you’re 10% disabled. In this situation, you may receive partial disability for as long as your medical condition lasts.

Social Security Disability Benefits

social security disability

The Social Security Administration offers wage replacement benefits to workers who have been completely disabled by an injury or medical condition. To qualify for these payments, you must be completely unable to work. If your service-related injury only resulted in partial disability, you likely won’t qualify for Social Security Disability payments.

Since Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid for by payroll contributions, you don't need to demonstrate financial need. Fortunately, this means that veterans who receive benefits from the VA can still collect the full payments they're entitled to.

The application process for Social Security Disability involves compiling all of your medical records and doctor's opinions. If your disability is listed in the SSA's list of impairments, your claim will likely be approved. However, you can collect disability if you can show that your medical condition makes working impossible.

Expedited Processing for Veterans

Even if you’re only receiving partial disability from the VA, you may be able to qualify for benefits if you have other medical conditions. When evaluating your application, the SSA will also consider injuries not related to your military service, including high blood pressure, neurological disorders, and other chronic illnesses.

The SSA offers expedited processing to veterans who are 100% disabled. To take advantage of this streamlined process, you’ll need a letter of complete disability from the VA, which should be submitted along with your petition. 

While your petition may be processed more quickly, getting the benefits you need can still be confusing, and your application may still be denied. Veterans applying for Social Security Disability should have an attorney help prepare their application and represent their interests.


If you’re navigating the Social Security Disability process, let C. Roland Krueger Attorney at Law provide the advice and aggressive representation you need. They’ve been serving clients throughout the Lexington, NC, area for nearly 40 years, and will strive to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Visit their website to learn how they can help, or call (336) 248-8464 to schedule a consultation today.