Both Social Security and VA pay disability benefits. And it is possible to qualify for both programs. However, their programs, procedures, and how they judge disabilities are very different. One of the major differences is that the VA will award benefits for a partial disability. For Social Security disability payments you have to be totally disabled and unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition. Your impairment must have lasted, or be expected to last at least one year, or result in death.

Even a VA compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits.

If you receive VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska