Yes. Disabled veterans can apply and get Social Security Disability Insurance at the same time as Veteran Administration (VA) Disability Compensation.  Getting approved for disability benefits provides increased income stability for veterans and their families.

A veteran disabled while on active military service can get approval for SSDI benefits only if he or she meets the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of disability.  To be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA), a veteran must show that he or she is completely unable to perform full-time work and his or her disability must be expected to last at least one year.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent agency of the US Federal government.  It administers Social Security benefits and has a budget of over a trillion dollars. The Social Security Administration employs more than 60,000 individuals.  It provides vital safety net for American workers.  Studies have revealed that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.


Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which is expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

The SSA considers a veteran disabled under Social Security rules if all the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The veteran cannot do work that he or she did earlier because of his or her medical condition;
  • The veteran cannot adjust to other work because of his or her medical condition; and
  • The veteran’s disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or will result in death.

To qualify for disability benefits, a veteran must:

  • Be unable to work because he or she has a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death;
  • Meet SSA’s strict definition of disability;
  • Be younger than full retirement age; and
  • Have worked at least five of the last ten years.

One of the most important rules for Social Security disability is that your medical disability must have lasted or be expected to last, for at least one year for benefits to be awarded.  So, even illnesses that obviously preclude work that are fully resolved in under a year will be found to have not meet SSA’s disability standard. One such example is an individual who is in a coma and completely recovers in under 12 months.

How Does The SSA Calculate A Veteran’s Monthly Benefits?

The SSA calculates a veteran’s monthly benefits based on his or her earnings history in both civilian and military occupations.  The SSA will determine whether a veteran’s disability prevents him or her from working a full-time job.

The SSA Does Not Take Into Consideration How A Veteran Was Discharged

Unlike the VA, a negative discharge from the army does not bar a veteran from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  For Social Security Disability Insurance, the SSA is only concerned with whether the veteran’s disability prevents him or her from working and whether the veteran has paid sufficient taxes into the system.  For Supplemental Security Income, the SSA is only concerned with whether the veteran’s disability prevents him or her from working and whether the veteran meets the need-based criteria for financial eligibility.

To Receive SSDI Benefits, A Veteran’s Disabilities Are Not Required To Be Service-Related

The SSA is not concerned about the circumstances under which a veteran’s disability arose.  The SSA considers whether a veteran is physically and mentally capable of sustaining Substantial Gainful Activity with his or her medical conditions.

Expediting Disability Claims Of Veterans

The SSA is committed to expediting disability claims of veterans with a 100% permanent and total disability rating from the VA, and those veterans disabled while being on active military duty.

SSA has the following two programs for veterans:

  • 100% Permanent And Total Veterans Initiative

In March 2014, SSA introduced a new initiative to expedite the processing of applications from veterans who have a 100% permanent and total (P&T) disability rating from the VA.  A veteran must provide the SSA with the VA notification letter stating the disability rating.  Although such applications are given top priority, it does not guarantee approval for disability benefits. 

  • Wounded Warriors

Veterans who suffered disabling mental and physical health injuries while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001 are eligible for expedited application processing through the wounded warrior initiative.

To receive expedited special processing, the veteran should inform the SSA that his or her injury occurred while on active duty.

Most veterans are unaware of the delays and difficulties in applying for Social Security Disability Insurance in North Carolina.  Denial of benefits or waiting years before receiving benefits results in loss of income and denial of access to health care insurance.  Contact Attorney Charlie Hall to guide and help you  or a loved one through this process.

Veterans Should Provide Accurate Personal and Contact Information

Veterans disabled while on active military service should exercise great care while filing their application for disability benefits.  Errors in a claim, like vaguely worded or inaccurate information, can lead to a potentially successful claim being denied benefits.  Attention to every detail is vital.

A Veteran should have available:

  • Proof of military pay, or workers compensation pay;
  • Copy of last year’s income tax return;
  • If discharged, the DD 214 form;
  • Birth Certificate or proof of US Citizenship or legal residency;
  • Check account number;
  • Social Security numbers of spouse and minor children; and
  • List of all military and civilian medical providers (including physical therapy and mental health treatment) for the relevant period.

If the SSA is unable to contact you, your claim could be denied.  If you are difficult to reach for some reason, provide the SSA with alternate reliable ways to contact you.


Hiring a board-certified legal specialist helps clients ensure that the attorney is proficient in the speciality legal field.  Board certification is an indication that the attorney has intentionally focused his practice to improve proficiency and quality of legal services and is devoted to staying current in the field.   Certification requires rigorous standards to obtain and maintain certification, including: continuing legal education requirements, devotion of portion of practice to specialty, peer review by lawyers and judges, and finally successful passage of a specialty examination.  The North Carolina State Bar Legal Specialization Board states, “Board Certification, unlike the self-laudatory information in advertising and marketing, is a credential that you can rely upon because it is based on objective criteria” (available at  Attorney Charlie Hall has devoted his legal career to helping the disabled obtain the benefits they deserve.  He obtained board certification in 2014, and since 2019 has been one of seven attorneys who sit on the Social Security and Disability Law Specialty Committee of the North Carolina State Bar, which reviews applicants for board certification and helps maintain certification standards. 


Applying for disability benefits through the SSA can be a long and frustrating process.  SSA laws and regulations are complex and often difficult for veterans to understand.

Attorney Charlie Hall represents veterans in disability claims before the Social Security Administration and before the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Our law firm provides personalized legal representation and counsel to veterans from the initial application stage through to the appeal process.  Attorney Charlie Hall has handled hundreds upon hundreds of disability claims through his distinguished career.

Attorney Charlie Hall and his team provide compassionate and diligent legal representation that is available to all veterans regardless of their financial standing.  We work on a contingency basis which means we get paid only after having secured approval for disability benefits for you. 

Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation with Attorney Charlie Hall.