The federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report recently showing than a number of military veterans receive military retirement benefits, as well as veteran’s and social security disability (SSD) payments. The report put the number of so-called “triple dippers” at somewhere around 60,000. While some are concerned about the amount of money being spent in these instances, others point out that the benefits are retirement pay earned through years of service, and the veterans are often disabled due to injuries suffered in the line of duty.
Most applicants for SSD only qualify if they do not receive more than $13,000 in income from other sources. Veterans, however, have been exempt from this requirement for years. And, after the September 11 attacks, Congress changed a law that previously prevented individuals from receiving both military retirement benefits and veteran’s department disability pay.
It is important to note that this is distinct from the social security disability program. So, it is now possible for veterans to receive payments from all three programs, if they otherwise meet the SSD benefits eligibility requirements.
It should be noted that the report indicates that a wide majority of the veterans receiving benefits from the social security program have severe disabilities, with ratings of 50 percent or more on the agency’s disability scale. Veterans should remember that they may well be eligible for SSD benefits if they are disabled, even if they receive veteran’s disability and retirement pay. They will still have to provide the same proof of their medical condition and how it affects their daily lives as non-veterans, however. If a veteran has questions about how to apply for benefits, he or she may wish to consult an Ohio disability attorney, who can help with the complicated process.
Source: ABC 13, “Report says 60,000 veterans get triple benefits,” Matthew Daly, Nov. 1, 2014