How Much is SSDI for 100 Percent Disabled Veterans

Many veterans who have a 100 percent VA disability rating might not realize they can receive additional benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. The application is separate, and the criteria differ from the VA’s. How much is SSDI for 100 percent disabled veterans? SSDI benefits are based on your past income and how much you have paid into the system through payroll taxes, not on the severity of your disability. Veterans Guide provides information and resources to help with claims for benefits.

Key Takeaways
  • Veterans with a 100% VA disability rating may also be eligible for additional Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, which are based on past income and Social Security contributions, not the severity of disability.
  • The SSDI application process and eligibility criteria differ from the VA’s, and receiving VA disability payments doesn’t guarantee SSDI eligibility.
  • The amount of SSDI benefits depends on the veteran’s past income, and in 2023, the average monthly SSDI payment was $1,489, with maximum benefits up to $3,627.

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is an insurance program that provides those eligible, including veterans, with income when they can’t work because of disability. To qualify for SSDI, you must have paid a sufficient amount into the Social Security system through payroll deductions while working and have a condition that prevents you from substantial gainful employment. 

If you qualify for VA disability payments, you might also qualify for SSDI. You can receive benefits from both programs. However, the VA and Social Security Administration assess applications using different criteria. Just because you qualify for one program does not mean you will qualify for the other one. 

Veterans Guide assists disabled veterans with understanding the benefits available to them. We can also connect you with an attorney to answer your questions and guide you through the application process.

How Much Is SSDI for 100 Percent Disabled Veterans?

If you have a VA disability rating of 100 percent, you likely cannot work because of your disability. Since you are unable to work, you are more likely to qualify for SSDI benefits than if you had a partial disability under the VA definition. SSDI is an all-or-nothing system that pays benefits based on applicants’ inability to work. Unlike the VA, SSDI does not provide benefits for partial disabilities.

The VA and SSA are separate organizations with different eligibility criteria. It’s important not to assume you’re eligible for one if you qualify for the other. For example, you have to demonstrate to the SSA that you not only have a severe disability but also that the disability prevents you from doing any work. Oftentimes a conditions that results in a 100% rating, like some PTSD conditions, will also entitle a veteran to SSDI benefits.

The amount you receive from SSDI depends on your past income and not on the severity of your disability. SSDI is funded through payroll taxes deducted from your paycheck. The amount of SSDI you receive is based on the income you earned while working and how much you have paid into the system. 

In 2023, the average monthly payment for SSDI was $1,489. In 2024, it is expected to go up to $1,537. The maximum benefit you can receive in 2023 is $3,627. It increases to $3,822 in 2024.

Expedited SSDI Claims for 100 Percent Disabled Veterans

Even though the SSA and VA process claims separately and have different criteria, you can receive expedited SSDI claims processing in some cases. The SSA can process your SSDI claim more quickly under the following circumstances:

The SSA usually receives automatic notification of a veteran who falls into one of these two categories, but not always. You can tell the SSDI you are 100 percent P&T or a Wounded Warrior veteran to get your claim fast-tracked. You will need to attach your VA notification letter to your request.

What SSDI Benefits Are Available to Veterans?

The U.S. government has several benefits programs for veterans, including the following:

How Do SSDI Payments Work?

There is a  five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. Once the SSA approves your SSDI claim, you receive payments starting on the sixth full month after the start of your disability. However, the payments actually come the month after they are due. 

The SSA offers this example:

As part of your SSDI benefits application, the SSA asks for your direct deposit information. If you provide this, you should receive benefits in your bank account.

How to Apply for SSDI Benefits

Many veterans use the SSA website to apply for SSDI, but there are other options. To start your application, you can:

Regardless of how you apply, you must provide the same information. There are three main categories of information on the SSDI application:

The SSDI also asks for specific documents that include the following:

The SSA requires original birth certificates and most other documents, except for tax returns, W-2s, and medical records, which can be photocopies. The SSA also recommends starting your application even if you don’t have all the supporting information.

It is common for some veterans to run into challenges while applying for SSDI. It’s in part because of these challenges that you might want to work with an advocate at Veterans Guide. Here are some common roadblocks:

What To Do if You Have 100 Percent Disability From the VA but Are Denied SSDI

If you are a 100 percent disabled veteran and have been denied SSDI benefits, you have 60 days to appeal the decision. There are four levels of appeal, but you might not have to go through them all. To request a reconsideration, you can fill out a form online. You can also mail or fax the Request for Reconsideration form to your nearest SSA office.

If you miss the 60-day deadline, you can still file an appeal. However, you’ll also have to include a good cause statement that explains why you missed the deadline.

Hiring an SSDI Lawyer

SSDI benefits can help you and your family stay on solid financial footing while you are unable to work because of a disability. Many veterans don’t know they can receive both VA disability benefits and SSDI. However, the application process can be detailed and complicated. Working with an SSDI lawyer dedicated to helping veterans can make the process easier. 

To learn how we can help you, contact Veterans Guide today.

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