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Veterans Advantage Financial™

We Speak Veteran™

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Do Retired Veterans Get Social Security?

Americans who have served in the military can often retire with several benefits, like access to health care and pensions. But what about social security? Do retired veterans get social security?

If you meet the requirements, you may receive payments from both Social Security and your military pension. Military retirement perks will not normally diminish Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits will be determined by your previous wages and the age at which you begin receiving benefits.

We’ll discuss whether or not retired veterans are eligible for social security benefits and how to apply if you are. We’ll also discuss some other benefits available to retired veterans. So read on for all the information you need!

Does My Military Retirement Count as Income for Social Security?

Your military pension will not be considered income for Social Security purposes. Social Security is a separate program from Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. Therefore, your military retirement will not affect your eligibility for Social Security benefits. Social Security is a needs-based program, meaning your benefits are based on your work history and earnings. Veterans Affairs is a federal organization that provides numerous distinct benefits to U.S. veterans. There is no income requirement for VA benefits. Suppose you have a service-connected disability or are the spouse or dependent of a veteran. In that case, you may be eligible for VA benefits.

How Much is Social Security for Retired Military?

The current rate is 6.2% on up to $160,200 of your earnings. For the average retired worker, that Social Security tax comes to about $1,300 a year. But for military members who retire before age 65, their Social Security benefit is based on their years of service. So if you have 20 years or more of service, your Social Security benefit will be reduced by 5/9 of 1% each year you’re under age 62. You can begin getting Social Security benefits as early as age 62.

Social Security benefits for retired military personnel are the same as those for civilian workers. Your benefit amount is based on your lifetime earnings, and you can start receiving them as early as age 62. If you wait until later to retire, your benefits will be higher. 

You can get more information on Social Security benefits for retired military personnel by visiting the Social Security Administration website or contacting your local Social Security office.

Can I Get Military Retirement Pay and Social Security?

You can get military retirement pay and Social Security. Social Security is a federal program that benefits retired workers, disabled workers, and survivors of deceased workers. Military retirement pay is a benefit for military personnel who retire from active duty. These payments are considered taxable income. However, you may be able to exclude some or all of your military retirement pay from taxation if you meet certain requirements.

You may be able to exclude all of your military retirement pay from taxation if you were disabled in the line of duty or if you retired after 20 years of active service. In addition, if you retire before age 62, you may be able to exclude a portion of your military retirement pay from taxation. Please contact the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Affairs office for further information on these exclusions. 

Your benefits may be taxable if you receive both military retirement pay and Social Security. However, you may be able to reduce your taxes by using the Social Security benefits calculator on the Social Security website. This calculator will help you determine how much of your benefits are taxable and what tax rate applies to your situation.

Can I Receive VA Disability and Social Security Retirement at the Same Time?

You may be qualified to receive both SSDI and VA disability compensations, which are not influenced by one another. You can apply for both programs, but you must do so separately. You may qualify for SSI payments in addition to your disability benefits, depending on your income and resources. The Social Security Administration provides economic assistance to those who are unable to work because of a long-term disability. According to federal law, disability is defined strictly. Some programs may give money to people who are only partially disabled or have a short-term disability, but SSA does not. However, Social Security has a program for persons who are blind or have impaired eyesight. To be eligible for Social Security disability payments, you must first have worked in Social Security-covered jobs. Then you must have a medical condition that fits the criterion of disability as defined by Social Security.

Does Military Service Affect Social Security Retirement Benefits?

Your military pension does not affect your Social Security benefits. Your monthly Social Security benefits are calculated based on your wages. However, your benefits under the optional Department of Defense Survivors Benefit Plan may be affected if you receive survivor benefits. For more information, you should contact Social Security. 

You may be able to get both Social Security and VA benefits. However, your Social Security payout may be cut if you make too much money. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) cuts veterans’ Social Security benefits if they also have a state pension, such as a service pension. WEP only applies to veterans who retire after 20 years of service or more. Social Security does not count military service before 1957 when determining if you have a “substantial” career outside Social Security-covered employment.

Suppose you receive a disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In that case, your Social Security disability benefits will not be affected. However, if your VA disability pension is based on your military service, your Social Security disability benefits may be reduced.

To find out more about how your military service may affect your Social Security benefits, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit www.socialsecurity.gov/veterans.

Can I Get Social Security if I’m 100 Percent Disabled Veteran?

For disabled veterans who are unable to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a unique program. You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits as a disabled veteran. To qualify, you must have a disability that:

  • Is service-connected (meaning it was caused by your time in the military)
  • Makes it impossible for you to work
  • If your disability has lasted or is projected to last at least one year or is terminal, you can apply for Social Security disability payments by contacting the SSA or visiting their website. 

You must present documentation of military service and disability. If you are accepted, you will get monthly benefits to help you with your daily costs.

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