SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: Will my military pension reduce my Social Security?Q. Will my military pension reduce my Social Security? A. No. Current military personnel pay Social Security taxes and earn Social Security coverage.
By: Howard Kossover, Grand Forks Herald
Q. Will my military pension reduce my Social Security?
A. No. Current military personnel pay Social Security taxes and earn Social Security coverage. Earnings for active duty service or active duty training have been covered employment since 1957. Earnings for inactive duty service in the reserves, such as weekend drills, have been covered since 1988. Military employment is posted automatically to your record without any action needed by you. Social Security is more than retirement.
Like most of the civilian workforce, if a member of the military becomes disabled, he or she may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits for themselves, plus their spouse and dependent children may be eligible, too. If deceased, a widow or widower and dependent children may be eligible for survivor benefits. Since the military is covered employment, a military pension will not reduce these benefits.
Q. Can disabled veterans also receive Social Security disability?
A. Yes, if the veteran meets both the Social Security work and strict severity of disability requirements, just as anyone else. Disability is very different from that of the Veterans Administration and requires a separate application. While the same disability rules apply to everyone, military service members can receive expedited claim processing from Social Security. Called “Wounded Warriors” this expedited process is used for service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after Oct. 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.
Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not prevent payment of disability. Receipt of military payments should never stop you from applying for disability benefits, even if you are receiving treatment at a military medical facility and working in a designated therapy program or on limited duty. The actual work performed is a controlling factor for SSA disability, not the amount of pay you receive or your military duty status. More “Wounded Warriors” information is at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.