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The short answer is no. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is actually very different from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays disability benefits to you and certain family members who meet the definition of disability if you worked long enough – and recently enough – under Social Security.

The VA focuses on your service-connected disability. Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions, or injuries incurred during active military service may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits. SSDI specifically looks at if you can do any type of work. Within the Social Security Administration, you are either disabled or you are not, and it doesn’t base your disability off a percentage.

However, if you are deemed 100% disabled from the VA, you may also be eligible to receive SSDI in addition to your VA benefits. If you are classified as 100% disabled (permanent or total rating) under the VA, you can get a faster decision from the Social Security Administration to determine if you are eligible to receive SSDI. It doesn’t mean you get approval, but you receive a decision/notification faster because the VA has done a lot of the legwork.

Learn more about VA Disability Compensation and how to apply here.

The Social Security Administration recommends individuals apply for disability benefits as soon as he or she becomes disabled. Processing an application for disability benefits can take up to five months. The sooner individuals submit their applications and information, the faster he or she can start receiving the assistance they need. To apply for disability benefits, go here.

Additional Resources on Social Security Disability