Disabled Veterans may be entitled to an enhanced Social Security Disability Benefit or extra social security disability (SSDI) benefits. Veterans who’ve had active duty service between January 1957 to December 31, 2001 and planning for retirement may be entitled to the benefit. Previously we have commented on social security disability and veterans benefits here.
Those that apply for social security disability benefits may receive a higher social security payment because of your military service, for active duty any time from 1957 through 2001 (the program was done away with 1 January 2002). You may receive up to $1200 per year of earnings credit credited at time of application – which can make a substantial difference in Social Security Benefit monthly payments upon your retirement. You must bring your DD-214 to the Social Security Office and you must ask for this benefit to receive it! This is something to put in your files for when you apply for Social Security down the road. It is NOT just for retirees, BUT anyone who has served on active duty between January 1957 to December 31, 2001.
FYI – this benefit is not automatic, you must ask for it! Many Veterans were in service between 1957 and 2001. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits keep this in mind.
Special Extra Earnings for Military Service
Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.
Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security disability benefit purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security Disability Benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training.
If your active military service occurred
From 1957 through 1967, SSA will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security disability benefits.
From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.
How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings
Here’s how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:
Service in 1957 Through 1977
You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
Service in 1978 through 2001
For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn’t complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.