Disability, General

Social Security and the VA, Working Together for Our Heroes

March 7, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

silhouette of a soldier standing in front of the american flag and saluting,  Social Security honors those who have served in the U.S. military. We recognize the sacrifices these Americans made while serving our country. Often, their dedication comes at the expense of significant and lasting effects on themselves and their families.

Social Security provides expedited processing of disability benefit applications for wounded warriors and veterans with a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T).

While both Social Security and the VA pay disability benefits to qualifying individuals, the criteria for awarding benefits is not the same. Even if you have a VA compensation rating of 100% P&T, you will need to meet the strict definition of disability set out by the Social Security Act to receive Social Security disability benefits. Social Security pays benefits to people with a severe medical condition expected to last at least one year or to result in death, while preventing you from performing substantial work.

To receive expedited processing as a veteran rated 100% P&T, you must first apply for Social Security benefits. You can apply online or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit your local Social Security office to apply in person.

You must identify yourself as a “Veteran rated 100% P&T.” If you apply in person or over the phone, tell the Social Security representative that you are a veteran rated 100% P&T. If you apply online, enter “Veteran 100% P&T” in the “Remarks” section of the application. You must also provide Social Security with your Veterans Affairs notification letter that verifies your rating.

Social Security will expedite your claim through the application process, and any appeals level, if necessary. Veterans Affairs compensation will not affect your Social Security benefits.

We are grateful to our veterans for their dedication to this country, and we are committed to providing veterans and wounded warriors with high quality public service. For more information, please visit https://www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans/

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Angela W.

    I’m glad to know that Social security honors veterans such as my husband who have served in the military. I think I should read more on the news that is related to the veterans affairs compensations so that he’ll be updated about it today. Since the awarding benefits are not the same, it would be wise for me to tell him this valuable information so I’ll gather more news about it. https://gotursixtv.io/

  2. Barbara A.

    My 100% disabled sister has been awarded Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). She get all of her services to live through SSI and Medicare and is in a group home… all expenses paid by the government programs. Will receiving this monthly award DIC which is going to be $883.00 make her lose her care benefits. The DIC is a tax free monetary benefit.
    Thank you,

    • Vonda V.

      Thank you for contacting us, Barbara. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer that question.

      However, SSI benefits are based on income, resources and living arrangements. A person receiving SSI should report all changes of income to us immediately. To report the income, contact the local Social Security office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  3. C. W.

    It sounds to me like one can receive both VA/SSDI benefits if disability is sever enough, don’t understand how one can receive VA disability when they were only in for 2 years, never saw action and received no injuries. How one can receive disability from experiencing a alleged rape that happened 30+ years ago makes no sense. Also wonder how an individual can claim the same disability of whatever through both organizations? Appears to be greed and fraud?

  4. william p.

    pls let me know why my benfits are so low carpared to duck addicts who havent worked get twice what i get plus food stamps i honorable servered my country And worked my whole life
    oh well just had to vent william patrick 916 622 4104 s/s *** – ** – ***

  5. Rev. P.

    This personally thanks you very much for all that you have sacrificed serving all our War-Heroes of all U.S. Wars.
    May I, however, point out and submit the very serious fact that may constitute a WAR and Hate-CRIME on the case of our U.S. National-demoted FILIPINO NEGRO World War 2 (WW2) Veterans. Based on the following very important facts and issues that I honestly believe demand a full-dress investigation by our Office of the Attorney General, enumerated below:
    1. Filipinos were, at least, U.S. Nationals who were singled out to be WAR-Conscripted by no less than U.S. President Roosevelt on July 26, 1941, under the death penalty of Articles of War #58 for desertion for all 21 (and later after the Pearl Harbor bombing but sometime in 1942 Selective Service and Training Act’s amendment – all 18 years olds) were subjected to DRAFT.
    2. The Philippines was from March 1935 till July 4, 1946 was a United States Commonwealth, hence, all U.S. laws – Constitutional, Military Justice – fully applied and equally applied for the Criminal War-Conscription service of all Filipinos till December 31, 1946 as President Truman’s Officially-declared end of WW2.
    3. Since the Social Security Act was passed in 1935 the Military Service Earnings of $160.00/month (from 16 September 1940 till Dec. 31, 1946) as gratuitously earned by all U.S. National-FILIPINO NEGRO, complied with the required THIRTY (30) QUARTERS needed for Social Security Pension and/or Compensation for WAR-Conscripted service. Hence, they (U.S. National-Filipino Veterans) were all legally entitled to all WAR-earned (inherently/derivatively) Veterans (VA) and Social Security (SSA) concurrent benefits, rights and privileges. Both under the Hague Convention Principles and the U.S. laws – Constitutional and Military Justice.
    4. The SSI welfare benefits, then, that are legally intended ONLY for those who did not work for or in the U.S. and have low income, should rather be considered ‘ADVANCED’ SSA Compensation and/or Pension for all Naturalized U.S. Filipino Veterans. Thus should NOT have been CONSIDERED as OVERPAYMENTS to be paid back by the Veterans or their War-WIDOWS. For they technically EARNED ENOUGH Military Service Earnings Credit towards SSA Compensation and/or Pension. And due to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) REQUIREMENT for every Filipino of NINETY (90) days with JUST ONE DAY in WAR would complete any lack of service CREDITS. Meaning all WAR-Conscripted U.S. National-FILIPINO NEGRO Veterans legally qualify for all SSA Compensation/Pension Benefits, Rights and Privileges. With the VALID, legal PRESUMPTION that under 1966 Veterans Pension Act (H.R. 17488) at age of 65 all Filipino WAR-Conscripted Veterans were all qualified for FULL and EQUAL VA and SSA concurrent benefits. And at ONE HUNRED PERCENT DOLLAR TO DOLLAR VA and SSA concurrent Disability – both SERVICE and NON-Service-Connected, RESPECTIVELY. Which both VA and SSA grossly and culpably ignored to this writing.
    Please, therefore, very seriously consider the above facts and issues with the most appropriate action needed to FULFILL the VOWED duty to our WAR-Veterans families. Including but not limited to “Undocumented”, Racially-BARRED, nay even ALIEN-ENEMIES, who fought for U.S. in the war. Under Section 303 and 326 of October 14, 1940 ACT, respectively. Reiterating the very salient and most serious facts and issues that the FILIPINOS VETERANS were by TRIPLE right of (1) Birth ( “Jus Soli” DOCTRINE) in the U.S. Colonized and Commonwealth-Philippines; (2) Derivative or blood relationship ( “Jus Sanguinis” principle) of both parents, probably among the “EN MASSE” or Collectively Naturalized and/or Native-born U.S. Citizens by reason of 11 April 1899 – 31 Statute, Page 1881, Treaty Series 344; and (3) as U.S. National and WAR-Conscripted by “Oath of Allegiance” to the U.S. Constitution and in the blindest loyalty and obeisance to the U.S. President as CONCURRENT Commander-in-Chief of the entire U.S. Armed Forces that included the U.S. Commonwealth Army. With the President invoking his FULL, CONSTITUTIONAL and EMERGENCY WAR POWERS in WAR-Conscripting all 21 and 18 year old U.S. National-FILIPINOS. Upon their respective INDUCTION into the U.S. Federal World WAR-2 Service. Thank you for your valued attention and concretely expedited action on this almost a century of WAR-Slavery aggravated by seeming “Heartless” Treachery. All the best.

  6. Jaye S.

    What do I need to do to officially notify SS of a death?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Jaye. You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. If you need to report a death, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Generally, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  7. Milagro C.

    I am currently retired receiving SS benefits. However, I am curious as to whether or not my military service was calculated correctly when I retired.

    • Vonda V.

      Thank you for service! Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

      Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for periods of active duty from 1957 through 2001 can also be credited to your Social Security earnings record for benefit purposes.
      •If you were in the active military service from 1957 through 1967, special extra earnings are added to your earnings record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
      •If your active duty was after 1967, the extra earnings are already on your record.

      There are no special extra earnings credits for military service after 2001.

      See our Retirement Planner: Special Extra Earnings for Military Service web page for more.

  8. Terence E.

    My name is Terence Encyclopedia Webster I am a Veteran rated 100% P&T as of Feb. 4th, 2018. I would like to apply for my Benefits that I have earned or I am entitled to and a Veteran rated 100% P & T.

    • Ray F.

      First of all, we thank you for your service to our country, Terence. Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.
      Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you feel that you meet our definition of disability, you can apply for disability benefits online.
      For further assistance contact your local field office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      We hope this information helps!

  9. wayne h.

    More of a question vs a comment….generally speaking is it possible to work or serve in public office, earning compensation if one is …..P&T from PTSD?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Wayne. Work Incentives make it easier for people with disabilities to work and still receive medical benefits and, in some cases, cash benefits from Social Security. Work Incentives can help you through the transition to work and financial independence. Click here to learn more. Thanks!

  10. Leo K.

    At present I am eligible for SSN benefits at age 65. Is it in any way I can change that and make it until age 70?

    • Ray F.

      Hello Leo, the earliest age individuals can apply for (reduced) retirement benefits is 62. However, you retirement benefits are increased by a certain percentage (depending on date of birth) if you delay your retirement beyond full retirement age.
      The benefit increase no longer applies when you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.
      See our Retirement Planner for more information. Thanks!

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