Social Security Disability benefits can be a crucial source of income for people who are no longer able to work because of injury, illness or other medical conditions. That said, it isn’t always easy to live on the income from these benefits alone, especially when a person’s disability requires a lot of expensive medical care.
Many disabled people supplement their SSD benefits with benefits from other programs, but doing so can sometimes raises new issues. The Social Security Administration requires an offset for many types of benefits, including worker’s compensation benefits. This means that a person who receives workers’ compensation benefits in addition to SSD benefits will see their SSD benefits reduced.
Veterans’ benefits provide an exception to this offset rule. A person who receives veterans’ disability compensation in addition to SSD benefits will not see their SSD benefits reduced.
In addition, veterans’ disability benefits can help supplement medical costs that are partly paid for by SSD benefits. People receiving SSD benefits become eligible for Medicare after two years. Meanwhile, veterans are eligible for medical coverage through Tricare, a military medical care program.
If a person who is covered by Medicare through SSD and Tricare through the military, their medical bills are divided between the two programs. Medicare is the primary payer with Tricare as a supplemental payer, generally taking care of copayments and deductibles, as well as sharing some other costs.
It isn’t easy to navigate through the bureaucracy of the Social Security Disability Insurance program. It becomes even more difficult when it becomes necessary to coordinate SSD benefits with benefits from another program. Disabled people and their families can talk to a experienced Social Security lawyer about their options for maximizing the amount they receive in benefits.