The difference between SSDI and Veterans Benefits – Part 2

  • SSDI is a safety-net to both civilians and military workers due to their inability to work as a result of long-term or terminal illness, providing benefits that may be subject to taxation. While VDC is also a safety-net, it provides veterans with tax-free cash benefits for service-connected illnesses or injuries. The inability to work is not a prerequisite for benefit entitlement; however veterans who are unemployable as a result of a service-connected condition are eligible for additional compensation.
  • SSDI only compensates workers who are fully disabled; however, VDC will compensate veterans for both fully as well as partially disabling conditions. While SSDI is an entitlement, the VA regards disability compensation as on obligation owed to veterans, for injuries that were incurred or aggravated by their service to the country. Eligibility for SSDI tends to be more stringent than VDC and most veterans will not likely meet the criteria for both programs.

SSDI is a much larger program, with more than 7.7 million individuals at the end of fiscal year 2009 receiving payments at a cost of $8.3 billion per month. Under VDC during the same period, there were 3.1 million individuals receiving benefits. The cost of that program will reach approximately $3.6 billion in FY2010.

If the claimant is receiving income from the trust, the VA may also count the trust assets as an asset. However, if the VA does not count it as an asset, the income is countable and the VA will perform an Income Verification Match with the IRS on 1099s. Beware that undeclared income can cause a demand for overpayment that can go back for years.

To increase your monthly income, please contact us about a FREE HANDBOOK about VA Benefits, written by David Wingate, an accredited VA Attorney, of Senior Life Care Planning, LLC, go to or if you require additional information about VA Benefits, visit our Senior LCP's Website.

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