One and Only: Alabama Veterans Reunion
One and Only: Alabama Veterans Reunion is coming up on August 26-28! We are thrilled to host Alabama’s finest in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! We are incredibly honored to be hosting the Alabama Veterans Reunion for the 3rd year here in Tuscaloosa. We are humbled to have so many of Alabama’s brave men and women who have served and continue to serve this great country come and unite in our city. This celebration weekend starts August 26th through to Sunday, August 28th. We welcome our featured speaker Major General Janet Cobb at our Veterans Appreciation Dinner on Saturday. Maj. Gen. Cobb is decorated for her service in the United States, overseas, and is a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Alabama ROTC.
The commemorative weekend will consist of a MyVA community public forum and reception at the Rivermarket on the 26th. The Veterans Festival at the VA Medical Center Campus with live music, a car show, and more! After the festival the formal dinner at the Northriver Yacht Club on the 27th, this is the only ticketed event at $35 a person & $60 for a couple. The 28th we will have the Veterans tour, a self-guided tour of the military and war history in Tuscaloosa. All events aside from the Formal Dinner are free to attend, and we look forward to seeing everyone here to celebrate this heroic men and women! REGISTER TODAY! at www.alabamaveteransreunion.com
Director of Outreach for Disability Benefits Help Deanna Power kindly wrote a post explaining Veteran’s benefits! Be sure to share it out.
How Someone Could Receive SSDI and VA Disability Benefits at the Same Time
As a disabled worker and a disabled veteran of the U.S. armed forces, you may be entitled to disability benefits from both the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Veteran’s Administration (VA). In fact, you can receive monthly compensation from both government entities at the same time and without your benefits through either program being reduced due to monies you receive from the other.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are available to qualified disabled individuals who worked and paid Social Security taxes to accumulate the work credits necessary to be covered by this “insurance” program. Taxes you pay accumulate as work credits, and work credits are usually earned at the rate of four per year. This means most workers of sufficient age and with a recent work history are eligible for SSDI, provided they also have a qualifying medical condition.
The amount of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI varies on how old you are when you become disabled. A recently enlisted solider wounded in combat will not have been expected to work as much as a 60-year-old applicant.
Veteran’s Administration Disability Benefits
Disability benefits through the VA are available to veterans that have a qualifying disability. This disability may be either an illness or an injury. It can also be something that occurred or developed during military service, or that was exacerbated by or worsened as a result of active military service. In other words, whether your disability was caused by or worsened because of military service, you may be eligible for VA benefits.
Medical Eligibility and Qualification Processes
While the VA and SSDI are both disability programs, there are some major differences between their respective medical qualification processes. The VA has a less stringent definition of disability and has a sliding scale for disability as well. Veterans can be anywhere from 10% to 100% disabled and receive VA disability.
SSDI disability standards are stricter and require your disability has or is expected to last at least 12 months or that you have a terminal condition. A qualifying disability must also prevent you from “substantial gainful activity,” which essentially means gainful employment. In 2016, “gainful employment” Because of these differences in eligibility requirements, some veterans may qualify for VA benefits but not for disability under the Social Security Act.
Expedited SSDI Reviews for Veterans
Veterans that are deemed 100% Permanently and Totally Disabled (100% P&T) by the VA are entitled to special service from the SSA. If you inform the SSA of your 100% P&T status, your SSDI application will be expedited. For expedited service however, you must also provide the SSA copies of your VA disability rating documents along with your application for Social Security Disability.
Applying for SSDI
You can apply online, via the SSA’s website for SSDI benefits, or you can visit the local field office to complete your application. Phone application interviews are sometimes done as well and can be arranged by calling 1-800-772-1213. Just keep in mind that this is the SSA’s main phone line and you may therefore be on hold for some time before speaking with an SSA representative.
No matter how you go about applying for SSDI, you’ll want to review information about the process prior to starting your application. The Adult Disability Starter Kit is a good place to begin your review. You may also wish to consult some of the SSA’s veteran-specific online resources, including the informational pages for Wounded Warriors and Veterans with 100% P&T Ratings.
This article was contributed by Disability Benefits Help. If you need any assistance with your claim, feel free to contact our staff at [email protected]