Does VA Disability Count as Income for SSI?

Yes, VA disability compensation counts as income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

On the other hand, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) only counts earned income – therefore, the VA benefits won’t be considered as income for SSDI.

This article will include an in-depth explanation of these benefits and how you can receive both of them together. We will also talk about the offset and reduction of SSI benefits.


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VA Disability Benefits vs SSI

Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA disability benefits are programs dedicated to providing financial assistance. However, they are different in terms of purposes and eligibility. Here are the differences between these two programs –

VA Disability Benefits

VA disability benefits are compensation provided by the Veterans Affairs to veterans with service-connected disability. The VA assigns a particular rating for different disabilities, and veterans eligible for benefits can get a specific amount of compensation depending on the rating they received. Unlike Social Security benefits, VA disability compensations are not means-tested; any veteran is entitled to it regardless of their financial situation and employment status.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a need-based program by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that aims to provide financial assistance to people with limited resources and income. This program is not limited to veterans.

VA Disability and SSI Eligibility

The Veterans Affairs determines the eligibility of VA disability benefits. In general, it is provided to veterans who have a service-connected disability (conditions that have resulted from their time in service). It also depends on the severity of the condition as well as several other factors.

On the other hand, SSI eligibility depends on income, resources, and also having disabilities. Therefore, unlike VA disability benefits, you do not need to have to be tied to military services to receive SSI benefits.

How VA Disability Affects SSI

Here is how SSI is affected by VA disability compensation –

SSI Eligibility

The disability benefits you receive are considered unearned income by the SSI program. Therefore, if you get more than a certain amount in compensation from the VA, you may not be eligible for SSI since your income is not low enough for this benefit.

SSI Benefit Reduction/Offset

Since VA disability benefit is counted as income by the Social Security Administration (SSA), they can subtract the amount you receive as compensation from Veterans Affairs from SSI benefit. This is known as “offset.”

Reporting Changes

Veterans receiving both VA disability benefits and SSI compensation need to report to the SSA if any changes occur to their VA benefits. If a veteran’s VA rating gets reduced and they get a lower amount of compensation, they must report it to the SSA. The same goes for when the VA compensation rate increases.

Income Limit for SSI

As of right now, the income limit for SSI is $934 for an individual and $1,391 for couples. 

Moreover, the resource limit for individuals for SSI is $2,000, and it is $3,000 for couples.

Offset and Reduction of SSI Benefits

Let’s say you are eligible to receive $700 from your SSI benefits program but are also getting $200 from your VA disability benefit. In this case, the SSA will use the offset rule and reduce the SSI compensation amount by $200, meaning you will now get $500. 

The offset applies to veterans who receive both VA disability and SSI benefits as long as their disability compensation from the VA is under the income limit for SSI. 


If you have not claimed your VA disability benefits yet and are receiving SSI compensation, VA Disability Coach can help you through the application process. In case you are getting both benefits, make sure to report any changes to your VA disability benefits to the SSA.