Double Dipping: Why You Can’t Get VA Disability and Workers Compensation For The Same Issue
I often get asked by friends what it’s like working at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, and I can honestly say that it’s pretty great. However, while my coworkers are awesome, they like to remind me of my increasing age. This comes up a lot when I reference television shows from the past. One such show that I referenced recently was the classic coming of age comedy, “Seinfeld.” Sadly, this show debuted before some of my coworkers were born, and when I quoted the episode in which George double dips his potato chip at a party, few of my coworkers knew what I was referencing.
You might be wondering why I was talking about this episode of “Seinfeld” at work, and how it is relevant to Veterans Disability. Just like George double dipping his chip at the social gathering in the TV show, a Veteran can inadvertently “double dip” when it comes to VA Disability Compensation too. Double dipping is of course a slang phrase used to describe getting paid twice by the government for a single disability.
We see this a lot in our older Veterans. A lot of the individuals I talk to think that they can get paid for both disability compensation and VA pension. While it is true, that you can qualify for both, the VA will take away from one to give you the other. For instance, if you were granted pension 10 years ago, but then were granted a service connected disability at 70% last year, the VA will start paying you whichever one is more. Since 70% service connection is more than pension, the VA will pay you the service connected disability benefit because pension is offset by the amount of money you are receiving for service connection.
That’s not the only way one can double dip though. I get calls all of the time from Veterans who wish to service connect for something that they are getting workers compensation for already. For instance, I see this often on back claims. When a Veteran calls our office stating that they want to pursue a service connected claim for his or her back, I will ask: “Have you ever filed a workers c
ompensation claim on your back?” If they answer yes, then I have to inform them they will get denied. Why? The reason is actually quite simple. The VA needs to know that your disability came from your time in service. So if you state that you hurt your back while on the job, then we are led to believe that it didn't occur while serving.
Something I hear a lot is that a Veteran hurt his back while serving, but did not file a claim for it, and did not seek treatment for it prior to filing a workers compensation claim. Once again, the VA will see that there is no evidence of this disability occurring while in service, and deny your claim.
I realize that I often sound like a broken record, but seeking treatment is the key to any VA disability claim. When it comes to a physical disability especially, the earlier you seek treatment, the better it is for your claim. If you would like to know more about what are firm can do for you, or if you would like a free phone consultation, give me a call at 1-877-526-3457. Fill out this form if you would rather I give you call.