Social Security and Veterans Benefits: Understanding the Differences

Disabled Veteran

While both the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provide assistance to American citizens in need, the two agencies differ greatly in scope, intent and procedure. Understanding the differences between the SSA and VBA can save claimants time—and prevent potential headaches. An article on these differences appears here.


Understanding Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits for Americans who have worked, paid into the system and have encountered a disability that now leaves them unable to work. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits carry over until the recipient reaches retirement age.

SSD is a simple, all-or-nothing benefit. Under the administration’s rules, the claimant is either disabled or they are not. Adjudicators simply need to determine if the claimant is able to work. These cases typically take two to three years to resolve. SSA will terminate disability benefits once a recipient reaches retirement age.

Understanding Veterans Disability Benefits

Under the Veterans Administration (VA), Veterans Disability Benefits provide compensation to veterans for their service-connected disabilities. VA Disability—in a marked difference from SSD—has no age limit. A successful claim can provide benefits for life.

In contrast to SSD, the VA assesses each illness or injury as a separate claim—assigning each its own rating. At the VA, each ailment is considered a distinct claim and each claim is rated separately. A veteran must submit evidence for each claim—which the VA will evaluate under separate criteria. A Veterans Disability case could potentially take five, ten, perhaps as long as 20 years to resolve.

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.



I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.