As we all know, Social Security Retirement benefits are funded, at least in large part, by payroll taxes during a person’s working lifetime.  Anyone who has worked at least 10 years and made a minimum of $4,480/year is eligible when they reach their retirement age.  Veterans also pay Social Security taxes during their time in the military.  Unlike civilians, however, vets all pay social security taxes at the same rate, regardless of their rank or their wage.

Veteran’s pension benefits provide a source of financial assistance to vets who have reached retirement age or who are disabled as a result of their military service.  Eligible disabled vets must have a limited income and have received an honorable discharge from the service.  In addition, the vet must have served active duty from 90 days to 2 years, of which one day occurred during a period of war.  Limited income guidelines are set by the VA and take into account the number of dependents, disability status and medical needs/costs of the vet.

The Social Security Administration has recently announced that beginning in mid-March 2014, vets with a VA disability rating of 100% permanent and total will soon have their claims for Social Security Disability benefits processed faster.  Claims from disabled vets will receive a high priority from SSA and receive expedited decisions from the agency.  Of course, having a VA disability rating is not a guarantee that the vet will receive Social Security Disability benefits; it only ensures that their claims will be more quickly processed.