VA Disability Pension and SSI are two types of disability benefits that many many Veterans may receive at the same time. However, many disability lawyers do not necessarily focus on these programs in terms of practice. Even though I practice as a Utah SSI lawyer, I do not personally handle VA pension claims, but there are others that do as well as VSOs. VA Pension and SSI benefits are reserved for those that are totally disabled, but have a limited work history. Past descriptions from this site relate similar information.
VA Disability Pension and SSI Eligibility
VA disability pension and SSI is for Veterans that are unable to work, but are not service connected. Disability benefits under both Social Security and VA are limited depending on work history. These two programs, SSI benefits and pension, can be earned at the same time since SSI does not count against pension (but usually SSDI does). So unfortunately, usually Social Security will count VA pension as income and will reduce the SSI accordingly. VA pension is limited to Veterans who only served during war time. One important difference between VA disability pension and VA disability compensation is that although being disabled under Social Security disability will qualify one medically for VA pension it does not necessarily mean that one will qualify for VA disability compensation. Also if one is retired under Social Security and meets the age requirement here they will have met the VA pension eligibility requirement. Please discuss with your Utah SSI attorney which program you may qualify for as a disabled veteran.
The VA will also often use the same date of onset for social security disability under SSI. The basic requirements for the meeting of VA disability pension are service, medical evidence of disability, unemployability, income/net worth, age, willful misconduct, and social security disability. Private medical evidence of disability is required for VA pension and must be reviewed before rated or a VA exam is ordered. Other requirements are pretty easy to show such as unemployability, income, age and lack of willful misconduct. If the evidence has not been received the VA will deny the claim until such evidence is received. In terms of employability the disability benefits eligibility can be determined by the original form indicating job history or other income information from self employment.