What Special Social Security Benefits Do Veterans Receive?

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It’s a little-known fact, but earnings for active duty military service or active duty training are covered under Social Security and have been since 1957. One of the special benefits military members receive is that it is possible to receive both Social Security benefits and military retirement benefits.

See: The mySocialSecurity Online Portal Helps You Manage Your Benefits
Find: 30 Greatest Threats to Your Retirement

According to the Social Security Administration, there is generally no reduction of Social Security benefits because one receives military retirement benefits, as well. This means you can receive two benefit checks at the same time each month. You will receive your Social Security benefit based on your earnings and the age you begin to start receiving benefits just like everyone else.

The SSA states that under certain circumstances, special earnings can be credited to your military pay record for Social Security purposes. Those extra earnings are for periods of active duty or active duty for training. These extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security or actually increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.

If you were active duty military from 1957 through 1977, you are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. If you were active duty military from 1978 through 2001, for every $300 in active duty basic pay, you’re credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of an extra $1,200 per year. If you enlisted after September 7,1980 and did not complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive any additional earnings. You can check here for details.

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In addition to retirement benefits, the SSA will also pay survivors benefits to veteran families when they pass away. Veterans can also get benefits for themselves and their families if they develop a disability. If you developed a disability while on active military service after October 1, 2001, you can visit Wounded Warriors to find out how to expedite the processing of your disability claim.

All service members will be required to show DD Form 214 as proof of military service when applying for Social Security benefits.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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