The SSA has improved its coordination with the VA on persons who are potentially eligible for both Supplemental Security Income and VA pension benefits, and IG report has said.
SSI is considered a program of “last resort” and the SSA requires that individuals apply for all other benefits for which they are potentially eligible, including VA benefits. However, in a 2010 report the IG estimated that the SSA paid $1.3 billion to recipients who appeared to meet VA’s requirements for benefits.
After that report, the SSA annually identifies SSI recipients who may qualify for the VA benefits, advises them to apply with the VA within 30 days. When SSA is notified an individual has applied for VA benefits, SSA follows up with the VA or the individual to obtain the final determination for those benefits. If an individual has not applied for VA benefits, SSI payments are suspended or denied.
The IG said that process was responsive to the recommendations of the prior report. The new report made no recommendations but noted that recently SSA issued a reminder to field office employees of relevant policies and procedures to ensure cases involving SSI recipients potentially eligible for VA benefits are processed and followed up on.
ask.FEDweek.com: Social Security Benefits in Federal Retirement