January 20, 2016, by Anum Yoon – Job prospects for veterans have become a little brighter in recent years, but many brave men and women who serve our country return home and find life more difficult than it was before they left. Some veterans are physically injured, and many others return without a scratch on them – but they’re suffering psychologically.
Veterans who have trouble assimilating back into the work force have some monetary reprieve in the form of their military retirement pay. But with everyday necessities becoming more and more expensive, retirement pay typically can’t provide a comfortable life for themselves, let alone their families.
There are institutions, agencies and processes that can be improved, but in addition to their military pay, veterans may also receive benefits payments from both Social Security and disability benefits from the VA. If you think you might qualify for some additional government benefits, here’s what you need to know:
1. You can return to work when you’re disabled or injured and still receive benefits.
The Social Security Administration runs a program called Ticket to Work, which is aimed to increase the likelihood you’ll proactively seek gainful employment after you qualify for benefits.
Essentially, Ticket to Work enables you to return to work on a part-time basis while retaining some of your benefits. That way, you won’t find yourself less financially secure after taking a job.
2. You may be eligible for past benefits even if you’re healthy today.
If you’re only learning about these benefits right now, don’t worry. You may qualify for past benefits even if you didn’t apply for them when you were disabled, injured or sick.
For example, let’s say you were disabled for eight months last year. You could potentially apply to receive disability payments for those eight months, even if you’re completely healthy today – and are gainfully employed.
3. You can legally draw benefits from multiple sources.
Veterans can legally draw funds from three different sources:
- Military retirement pay
- Social Security disability
- Disability through the VA
In fact, one veteran amassed $210,000 in payments through these three sources in 2013 – completely legally.
4. You need access to comprehensive medical records to receive benefits.
The government prevents veterans from receiving benefits on a fraudulent basis. If you wish to apply for benefits, you need to maintain a complete catalog of all of your medical bills, doctor’s appointments, procedures and medications.
Quite simply, you have to prove that you’re disabled and were unable to work. You have nothing to worry about if you’re in the right – you simply need to prove it.
5. You can partner with an attorney to gauge your eligibility.
Scared about having to cut through the government’s red tape in order to qualify for your benefits? Don’t sweat it. Rather than dealing with all of these complex governmental nuances, you can partner with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of veteran’s benefits. He or she will help you quickly determine which benefits you’re eligible for – and make sure you get paid.
On behalf of all Americans, thank you for your service! Now go out and attain the financial peace of mind the entire country owes you.