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Do I Get Extra Money From Social Security for Being a Veteran?

Published on November 25th, 2019

As a veteran, you may receive several different benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The exact interplay between VA and SSA benefits depends on the circumstances that are specific to your case, but it is very common for veterans to receive VA disability compensation in addition to Social Security Disability Insurance. Also, veterans who served prior to 2001 get additional social security credit for their military service that is counted towards their SSA retirement benefits.

Ensuring that you are receiving all of the VA and SSA benefits that you might be entitled to can help you and your family enjoy financial stability for years to come. You gave years of your life to your country, and you deserve compensation for your service. But sometimes the VA may be reluctant to grant you the benefits you deserve. If you have been denied your VA benefits, call Jackson and MacNichol today at 800-524-3339 for a free consultation with a veterans disability compensation lawyer.

Extra Social Security Credits For Veterans Were Discontinued in 2002

When you apply for your social security retirement benefits, the SSA will automatically take into account your military service. If you served in the military before 2001, this means that the SSA will count extra credits towards your lifetime earnings record, which is used to determine your SSA retirement benefits. These credits are meant to compensate for the relatively low wages received by military personnel in the past, and can provide a significant boost to your retirement income.

The amount and type of credits you receive depends on the period in which you served in the military:

  • 1940 through 1956–The SSA will credit an extra $160 in earnings for each month of active duty service.
  • 1957 through 1977–For every quarter in which you received active duty basic pay, the SSA will credit you with $300 in social security earnings.
  • 1978 through 2001–For every $300 you received in active duty pay, the SSA credits you with an extra $100 in social security earnings up to a yearly maximum of $1,200. But if you enlisted after September 7, 1980 and did not serve for 24 months of active duty or for a full tour, the SSA will not give you these extra credits.

Although the SSA automatically takes these credits into account when calculating your lifetime earnings, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a copy of your work record from SSA (called your detailed earnings query or “DEQY”) to make sure all of your military service has been taken into account.

What to Do If Your Benefits Are Denied

The SSA and the VA generally do a good job of getting retired and disabled persons the benefits they need to live in dignity. But sometimes, they fall short of this objective. When this happens, the veterans and social security benefits lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can help. If your claim for VA disability compensation has been denied, call us for free at 800-524-3339 today and we’ll tell you how we can help with your case.  If you are having difficulty with SSA benefits, we can help you find a lawyer to assist you.


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