The Department of Veterans Affairs provides federal public benefits to American individuals who have served in the military. Benefits include disability payments, health insurance, retirement benefits and monthly pensions. Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration has a program that pays disability benefits for Americans whether they are veterans or not. The program is known as Supplemental Security Income. If you are a veteran, you may be eligible to receive SSI and veterans benefits at the same time.
Veterans Administration Pension
Veterans Administration Pension, known as VA Pension, is a program that pays benefits to veterans and family members of deceased veterans. To be eligible to receive VA Pension benefits, you must be older than 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled. You must also have low income to qualify to receive VA Pension benefits. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, you must be a veteran who received honorable discharge from your years of service, and you must have served for 24 months or the whole period that you were called to serve. If you were born before 1980, you must have served for at least 90 days, with one day being during a period of war.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI, is a Social Security program that pays benefits to people who are disabled, blind or older than 65 years of age and who have low income. These benefits help you pay for monthly expenses for your basic needs. You are not required to have paid Social Security tax to qualify to receive SSI benefits. Your monthly income must not exceed $1,000 per month. If you are single, you cannot have resources that exceed $2,000 in value, and if you are married, your resources cannot exceed $3,000 in value.
VA Pension and SSI
To qualify to receive benefits from both of these programs -- SSI and VA Pension -- you must have low income. You can receive both benefits at the same time as long as your income still meets the requirements of each program. For VA Pension purposes, SSI payments you receive monthly do not count as income and therefore do not affect your eligibility. For SSI purposes, any benefit you receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs counts as income and affects your eligibility to receive these benefits.
As of 2011, the maximum amount of federal SSI benefits you can receive is $674 if you are single and $1,011 if you are married. Exactly how much you receive depends on your eligibility and income. Some people qualify to receive the maximum amount, and some people receive less. The amount of benefits you are eligible to receive from the VA Pension program depends on how many dependents you have and and on whether you are entitled to receive VA housebound or aid-and-attendance benefits. How many dependents you have determines your annual pension limit. The Department of Veterans Affairs divide this amount by 12, which is equivalent to your monthly pension.