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Helpless Child VA Benefit and SSI Disability

CVN Driver


I am 100% P&T and I applied for  and was granted Helpless Child for my stepson before his 18th birthday with little or no problems from the VA. He is now over 18 and eligible for Social Security benefits, but we are having issues with the SSA and the VA. Social Security is docking my son's SSI payments and counting the helpless child payment as income for him because I am getting the helpless child payment on my VA disability. After lots of calls and back and forth, we have finally got SSA to say that we need a letter from the VA showing the break out of the payments and that the payments from the VA is only for me. However, when I looked on EBenefits I could not find a letter or link that shows the breakdown /stack up of how my payment is determined. I tried showing the SSA the chart from the VA website, but that is not good enough for that side of the government. So my questions are: 1) Has anyone else fought this fight with 2 of the most obtuse government agencies before? 2)Is there anyway to get or generate a letter or some other documentation close to what he SSA is requiring? 3) Is there somewhere on the VA site that shows our payment breakdown, not just the total award, i.e. $xxxxx for 100%, $xxxx for SMC, $xxx for dependents, etc.?

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This is complicated, obviously. You may need a lawyer. But before you take that step, I would call your Congressman's office. This is the kind of thing they can get moving because it involves social services bureaucracy and VA bureaucracy. Hope it works for you.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I assume you received a dependent’s allowance, as additional VA comp, added to your overall compensation, until your child turned 18.( Not a helpless child benefit)

And now  your child is eligible for  SSI.

“Any child under the age of 18 can be included as a dependent for your VA Claim regardless of physical or mental status (this is done through submitting VA form 686c). After they turn 18, they are automatically removed and financial compensation for that dependent ends.

Therefore, you cannot receive benefits for a helpless child until they turn 18. In order to qualify for the ‘helpless child’ benefit, the child must be 18 years or older. Before then, they are just counted as a dependent.”


Source: This whole article by Hill and Ponton ( veterans lawyers) should help explain this situation.


I believe you mean you were receiving the dependent’s comp for the child and now the Helpless child benefit should kick in.?

You said:

“. Social Security is docking my son's SSI payments and counting the helpless child payment as income for him because I am getting the helpless child payment on my VA disability.”

Do you mean you have been granted by VA additional comp for him due to “helpless child” since his 18th birthday?

If so, have they (VA)  stopped the dependent allowance yet?

In essence ,the Helpless child comp goes to you but is to be used for his needs. That makes sense to me because SSI has some income limits.Bit I could be wrong.

Both SSDI and SSI have websites to explain these benefits.I believe you have appeal rights on any negative SSA decision.

Also Matt Hill of Hill and Ponton ( article link above)is a member here and maybe his email addy is in his profile.




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It sounds like Berta is correct.  For example, if you are receiving VA pension, you are generally not going to get much, if any Social Security disability.  The reason is that VA pension is a needs based program, and "maxes out" at the poverty level which is around 10,000 per year, plus or minus dependents.  Social Security disability also is a needs based, so you really can not get both, at least you wont be able to exceed the poverty level.

Its kinda crazy that you can get SSDI and VA comp, but not SSDI and VA pension.

Social Security and VA allow Vets to combine Social Security and VA comp, but you still can not really collect social security disability and pension, except to the extent that you collect the poverty level from both combined.  Normally, that means if you have pension, you wont get SSDI, and if you have SSDI, you wont get pension.  

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