BASIC (04-00)

VB 00205.100 Other Benefit Income

A. Policy

1. General

As explained in VB 00102.001B.3., other benefit income is any recurring payment such as an annuity, pension, retirement or disability benefit received by a qualified individual, but only if a similar payment was received by the individual from the same or a related source, during the 12-month period immediately before the month the veteran filed an application for SVB. Other benefit income includes any veteran's compensation or pension, workmen's compensation payment, old-age, survivors, or disability insurance benefit, railroad retirement, annuity or pension and unemployment insurance benefit.

A qualified individual's monthly benefit amount (75 percent of the SSI Federal benefit rate (FBR)) is reduced by the amount of his or her other benefit income for that month.

If the other benefit income is equal to, or more than, 75 percent of the SSI FBR at the time the determination is made on whether the individual meets the requirements for qualification, the SVB claim is denied. If the other benefit income becomes equal to, or more than, 75 percent of the SSI FBR after the qualification determination is made, payments are suspended.

NOTE: In the rare case, in which the other benefit income becomes equal to, or more than, 75 percent of the SSI FBR between the date the qualification determination is made and the date the claimant is determined entitled to SVB, payments to the individual will be suspended effective with the later of the following:

  • the month the other benefit income became equal to, or more than 75 percent of the SSI FBR; or

  • the date of entitlement.

The determination of qualification cannot be reversed since it was correct when it was made, but the beneficiary cannot receive any payments because of the amount of his other income.

2. Twelve-Month Period

Generally, the 12-month period will be the 12-month period immediately before the month the claimant filed a formal application for SVB. However, where the date the claim was filed is established based on the protective filing date, the 12-month period will be the 12 months immediately preceding that month.

The individual must have received the benefits in, or for, at least one of the 12 months.

B. Definitions

1. SVB Monthly Benefit Amount:

The amount payable before reduction for other benefit income (i.e., 75 percent of the SSI FBR).

2. Recurring Payment

One made at regular periodic intervals. The payment interval is not important as long as the payments are made at regular times (e.g. weekly, monthly, annually, etc.). Recurring payment also includes lump-sum payments made at the request of the individual, or as an administrative convenience or practice by the paying agency in lieu of more frequent payments.

3. Similar Payment Received from the Same or a Related Source

Payments of the same kind/type as those received in the 12-month period immediately before filing for SVB and from the same or a related source. Based on the legislative intent, similar payments from the "same or related source" has been interpreted to mean income that is from sources substantially related to the sources of income received prior to SVB entitlement (e.g., the same paying agency or organization). Examples of benefits from a substantially related source would include the conversion of wife's benefits to widow's benefits after entitlement to SVB, and a cost-of living increase in a benefit received during the 12-month period before entitlement to SVB. Income from winning a lottery after entitlement to SVB would not qualify as other benefit income from the same or a related source.

The payment intervals (weekly, monthly, etc.) or amounts do not have to be the same. For example, if an individual had received title II spouse's benefits during the 12- month period before filing for SVB and subsequently became entitled to a higher retirement benefit on his own earnings record after SVB entitlement, the retirement benefit would be other benefit income.

4. Annuity

A sum paid monthly, yearly or at other specific times in return for the payment of a fixed sum. Annuities can be purchased by an individual or by an employer.

5. Pensions and Retirement Benefits

Payments to a worker, or based on the account of a worker, after retirement from employment. These benefits can be paid directly by the former employer, from a trust fund, an insurance company or other entity.

6. Disability Benefits

Payments made because of injury or other disability.