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VA Compensation and Wife's Pension


Mac964
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Question

Bare with me. I am a stroke survivor and want to make as much sense as possible. 

I am a Military Vet who receives 100% compensation monthly. I have an award of 70% service connected disability, considered Total and Permanently disabled due solely to my service connection disabilities, plus unemployable due to those disabilities. I no longer have to have exams for claim status. 

My wife, has never served. She is a civilian. We have been getting documents in order and reviewing and that is how all this started and we can NOT get a straight answer.

My wife has a Pension naming me Beneficiary, as well as Life Insurance. Remember: NOT MILITARY. She also told me, at age my current age of 61, that I have to remember to file for Social Security before age 65. Straight Social Security NOT disability. She decided to contact a VSO at the VA and what a mess. He told her that: 1) In the event of her passing naming me Beneficiary to her own Pension and Life Insurance, MY VA Compensation would be greatly reduced as this would be considered: "EARNED INCOME"??? 2) if I were to apply to my entitled SS, that would also be considered "EARNED INCOME" and my rating would change as well as greatly reduce. Make NO sense to me as it is not EARNED, taxable  yes, EARNED: NO. 

So, to day I contact the VA Benefits and Claims dept. via phone. I was told the very same thing. I tried to explain to the very, very rude Representative that how can a "gift" be EARNED INCOME? He said I could apply for Social Security, but again it would be considered EARNED INCOME and I would be penalized via the VA??? What? I tried to get him to clarify and he wouldn't. Basically said, "Request to remove your TDIU portion, unemployability rating to reduce your total 100% compensation. Then you can apply for Social Security as LONG AS IT IS NOT OVER THE AMOUNT ALLOTTED FOR YOU TO EARN MONTHLY. This will apply to your wife's Pension as well when and if she does not survive you. 

So, now I am extremely confused, stress and angry.  I hope I made sense of this senseless *(&()(&...and maybe someone can shed light on this. 

-at 100% compensation 

-Total and permanently disabled due to service connection

-70% at a 100% compensation

-age: 61

-TDIU

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I don't think this guy was correct.

you can collect SS and your VA Comp at the same time (I do and have for the last 12 years, and if your spouse goes before you she left you her beneficiary  you can keep that too although you pay tax on it and your SS if its over 13.000 yearly check with a tax consultant to be sure.

This has nothing to do with your VA COMPENSATION AND YOUR SERVICE CONNECTED CONDITION/RATING.

*No one can touch your VA Comp Only the VA CAN DO THAT  WITH GOOD REASON...AND IT'S ALL TAX FREE.

Once you prove service connection and the VA Gives you a rating   even a combined rating like you have  the VA must have used the extra scheduler 4.16 for your 70% combined rating and because you could not work due to these service connected disabilities  they inferred the IU. AT 70% being paid at the 100% rate.

you should have that the rest of your life  unless they prove fraud ...

None of us is protected agianst exams   until we have had our ratings consecutively for 20 years.

but you being over the age 55 helps reduce you from ever being called up for an evaluation exam.

(JMO)

Edited by Buck52
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Of course, Buck is correct.  I personally get VA disability compensation AND Social Security, as many Vets do.    Not only, does SS award disabled Vets Social Security disabilility, but they "expidtie" that claim for disabiled Vets!!!

I didnt make this up, this is from Social Security website:  https://www.ssa.gov/people/veterans/100pt.html

This is a great example of why  you need hadit, and we welcome you.  VSO's and VA employees either through ignorace, laziness, or whatever else, often give Veterans Terrible advice.  

VA compensation is NOT "needs based".  Tammy Duckworth gets VA compensation and she is a Representative in our government.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammy_Duckworth

She did not have to give up her disability compensation to work for VA, or to be elected to congress.  

In short, you have been told lies, and I just demonstrated the facts.  

More here:  https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/earned-income

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/information-for-veterans

 

 

Edited by broncovet
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20 minutes ago, broncovet said:

VSO's and VA employees either through ignorance, laziness, or whatever else, often give Veterans Terrible advice.  

OK, I follow that but they do lie.  If the veteran was getting SSI (Social Security Insurance) any income could affect the payment but SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) the veteran has paid in the system and is good.  The veteran can file for SSDI.

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Correct, Pete.  SSI is "needs based" and VA disability income counts against that.  In a similar way, VA pension is needs based, so you cant get VA pension and SSI at the same time (except "up to" the poverty level.  This means if the poverty level is 10,000 per year, you can get a maximum of 10,000 from the combined SSI and VA pension.  So, if you only got 4000 from SSI you could still get 6000 in VA pension.  )  

Veterans disability income, tho not taxable, is income for "needs based" programs to include things like food stamps.  

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