Why does a Veteran's Spouse lose SSI after a service connected disability is approved?

I am a health care provider for elderly veterans and and have heard from two separate clients that when the husband (veteran's) service-connected disability was approved and VA pension began, the wife lost her SSI, medicaid, and now has to pay a medicare premium of nearly 500$ per month.

I have also heard of instances where the VA pension is reduced when there are other sources of income, but I don't understand why VA pension would impact the spouse's SSI and health care access under medicaid-medicare.

Can you tell me why this happens and if there is any remedy for it?

Thank you,
A concerned caregiver

If the spouse is receiving an SSI disability benefit, there are income and resource limits. If their husband's military disability or pension exceeds those limits their SSI benefits may terminate. This is the case for all non-veterans as well, when another source of income is reported.

I cannot speak for the VA reducing their benefit as I am not versed in VA benefits.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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