Can Veteran Disability Benefits be deducted from my monthly long term disability insurance check?

The answer to this question depends on the language contained within your long term disability insurance policy. In most disability claims that are governed by ERISA there is an offset provision for other disability related benefits such as SSDI, Worker Compensation or Veteran Benefits. There have been several court opinions around the country that have found that if a claimant is receiving VA benefits for a disabling condition unrelated to the disabling condition filed with the disability insurance carrier, then the disability company should not be entitled to an offset for VA benefits.

Take a look at our discussion of the case of Riley v. Sun Life Insurance for a more detailed discussion regarding VA disability benefits as an offset.

Comments (26)

  • Brian, if your policy specifically states military disability income is not an offset then there should not be an offset for your VA benefits. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your concerns in greater detail. We would be more than willing to provide you with a review of your policy and free consultation.

    Stephen Jessup May 3, 2021  #26

  • The LTD policy for my job lists income offsets for disability pay from the federal government through SSDI and “any other act or law with similar intent”. It further goes on to specify “military disability income” will NOT be considered an offset. Does my VA disability pay for an unrelated condition fall under “military disability income”. What if one of my VA disability conditions is the same as my LTD payment? Thank you.

    Brian May 2, 2021  #25

  • Ken, thank you for your Service. While would we have to review a copy of the Hartford’s LTD policy, given the fact that there is no increase in the money being received from the VA, I do not think it is likely that Hartford could offset your LTD benefits any further. If you have a copy of the governing LTD policy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.

    Alex Palamara Mar 6, 2021  #24

  • I’m a retired Navy veteran (21 yrs). I had an increase in my VA waiver from 30 to 40 percent. I’m receiving long term disability payments from The Hartford. 20 percent of VA waiver is for my back and 20 percent for my knees. Can my disability payments be reduced because of the increase in VA waiver? My disability from the Hartford is for my back not my knees. Also my gross income is not increased just less of it is taxable. There is no increase in money for any disability. Only the percentages of disability are not taxable.

    Ken M. Mar 6, 2021  #23

  • Larry, in order to assess whether your VA benefits will be an offset, we will need to review a copy of the policy governing your claim. Please get ahold of a copy and contact us for a free consultation.

    Alex Palamara Jan 27, 2021  #22

  • STD did not use va compensation as income thus no offset. I have just transitioned to LTD and there is discussion whether or not to off set LTD by the VA compensation. Your opinion is respected.

    Larry Jan 27, 2021  #21

  • Wesley, you will need to consult the Group Policy/Certificate to determine whether VA benefits constitute a deductible source of income (i.e., “Other Income”), which may reduce your monthly benefit. Generally speaking, a VA benefit for a condition unrelated to your disabling condition should not be an offset but, again, you should confirm by consulting the policy. If you run into any difficulties with the carrier you can contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys.

    Jay Symonds Jan 14, 2021  #20

  • I will be receiving company LTD benefits in the next year or so. I’m a pilot and am having brain surgery for a tumor and this will keep me from flying (my means of income) forever. I also have several pending VA claims that are NOT related to this brain issue (back pain, joint issues, etc). Will LTD payments be reduced/offset by my future unrelated VA payments.

    Wesley F. Jan 14, 2021  #19

  • Charles, you need to review your policy to see if it allows Cigna to take an offset for Va benefits. If so I believe they are permitted to do so.

    Rachel Alters Aug 9, 2020  #18

  • I am going to LTD August 16. I am DAV and Cigna is saying their going to reduce my weekly benefits because I have a va pension. I thought a Texas court overturned that law ago. I’m highly offend that Cigna is wanting this info. I thought I didn’t have to disclose my DAV status to anyone.

    Charles T. Aug 9, 2020  #17

  • Seo: I suggest you contact the VA to determine what benefits would be available to deceased Veterans’ dependents.

    Jay Symonds Mar 20, 2020  #16

  • Survivors and dependent children may also apply for a PSC that the Veteran could have applied for prior to their death, and they may receive a lump sum amount if approved. Are there additional amounts for Veteran Dependants such a spouse or dependent child in the case of the death of a Veteran?

    Seolearnbd Mar 20, 2020  #15

  • Peggy, only if you policy states that VA benefits are considered other income. You will need to review the policy to determine this.

    Rachel Alters Nov 24, 2019  #14

  • I have been receiving LTD benefits. I have been granted VA spousal survivor’s benefits back to 2015. Will I have to pay Liberty mutual (now Franklin financial) back money they paid me like they did social security backpay for short term disability payments?

    Peggy Nov 24, 2019  #13

  • Jack, the sources of other income Aetna can offset against your monthly disability benefit is spelled out in the UPS Group Disability Policy. I suggest you contact our office and send in your Policy then speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have regarding your situation.

    Jay Symonds Jul 15, 2019  #12

  • I receive 100% from the va and worked for ups since 2012. I went out on disability in February of 2018 and had to fight Aetna and ups since then to get pay. First they denied me due to the act of war clause. Then they did a partial overturn. Then I got an attorney involved and ups made it a work related injury from the harassment I was receiving while there. Then Aetna told us we had to apply for workers comp. I showed them I reported the injury numerous times over the last year and was never acknowledged by ups on it. Aetna came back now and they are taking almost 17,000 dollars off of my backpay because of my VA Disability.

    My attorney tells me the std contract states they can do this. But I don’t agree with the attorney because I’m out of work for a different reason. My va pay doesn’t pay me for the hostile work environment that caused me to have to leave work and apply for disability. My attorney says there the best and welcome any other attorney who knows more than they do.

    So in closing can Aetna really count my va money I receive while I’m on disability due to the harassment I was receiving from work? They took almost 17,000 off leaving us with 9k minus the attorneys 33% fee. I told the attorney I don’t accept this and they don’t seem to care. Thanks

    Jack B. Jul 15, 2019  #11

  • Gerry, if the VA benefit is considered “Other Income” under the employer provided group disability policy they will likely not factor/consider the fact that the retirement benefit is already offset by the VA benefit. In fact, you should check your policy to ensure that the Navy retirement benefit is not also an offset to the group disability benefit. I suggest you request and send in your employer provided group policy and contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address your situation.

    Jay Symonds Jun 4, 2019  #10

  • I am retired from the Navy. My Navy retirement income is offset by my the amount of My VA disability benefits. I am facing long term disability from my job. They want to offset my disability payment by the amount of my VA disability check, which will result in my income being offset twice for the VA disability. Is there any way to prevent this?

    Gerry A. Jun 4, 2019  #9

  • Richard, the question of whether your LTD benefits will be offset by your VA benefits depends on the terms and conditions of your disability insurance policy. If your disability insurance policy states that your monthly benefit can be offset by other income benefits including VA benefits then your monthly LTD benefit will likely be reduced.

    Cesar Gavidia Apr 29, 2019  #8

  • I am on LTD from my employer for severe depression and vision loss. I have just received my VA disability for vision loss, IBS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). In my awards letter from LTD disability it does not mention VA compensation. My question, Will my VA disability income be deducted from my LTD income. I have called my LTD company and they said it depends on what the VA disability is for. I am at a loss.

    Richard G. Apr 29, 2019  #7

  • Brock, you would have to request a copy of your LTD policy from Coors and look under the section labeled “Other Income”. There it should state what is and is not considered other income. Sometimes VA benefits are offset from LTD benefits, but only if you are receiving them for the same disability you are claiming for the LTD. If you would like a free consultation you can contact our firm and ask to speak to an attorney.

    Rachel Alters Jul 14, 2018  #6

  • I am 70% VA disabled. I’ve been at Coors for 18 years. I’m currently out on my second short term disability due to hostile work environment panic attacks and hostile feelings towards other workers and bad management. I’m applying for long term from them. Can they deny me or reduce the claim due to what I get from the VA?

    Brock A. Jul 13, 2018  #5

  • Adrian, potentially and in all likelihood they will. Your policy will govern whether such benefits are an offset. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our office and have a copy of the policy available.

    Alex Palamara Mar 7, 2018  #4

  • I’m on std with job and I’m 60 percent disabled with va. Can Aetna find out about my va disablity?

    Adrian Mar 6, 2018  #3

  • George,

    “Veteran Benefits” as defined in long term disability policies only include monetary disability benefits from the VA. Some policies allow for setoff due to retirement plans. As to whether your Pension would qualify, it would be impossible to know or advise without first reviewing the policy.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 25, 2014  #2

  • I have an interesting question. I retired from the Naval Reserve in 1998 after 20 years of service For approximately 12 years of that period I served in a Volunteer Training Unit. This means that I performed regular drills without pay but received retirement points like any other reservist. Upon my retirement I was placed in a status known as “gray area” as such,I could not collect a pension until my 60th birthday. In 2005 I went on long term disability.It will expire in 5 more years. The pension is unique in that it has no vesting dates or provision for vesting and will vanish if I die before age 60. Additionally my spouse has certain rights in regard to payments and is no way awarded for any disability. The policy appears to have some language claming setoffs for other sources of income. Could a set off be claimed successfully here where if the benefit were earned it occurred prior to any disability? I have copies of policies for 2 consecutive years. The carrier and I agree as to which one covers my claim for benefits. However the carriers claim for set offs is defined fairly broadly therein in opposition to which I would contend that this pension is not what was intended as Other sources. A subsequent policy gives examples of things which will not be considered other sources and among those are “veteran’s benefits”. Does this include my pension though administered by the Department of Defense rather than Veteran’s Affairs? Language addressing set offs for governmental or pubic pensions do not seem to include military pensions as subject to such claims. The other source language does change, so which is operative, the year that I go on disability even though there is no pension there, the one in effect when I turn 60 and can make a claim for the pension. Note thatI must apply it will not be started automatically or some other effective time frame. I do not believe that the carrier is entitled to cash in for those years that I served my country for free. Your thoughts with any relevant case citations would be welcome.

    George Gridley Mar 24, 2014  #1

Leave a comment or ask us a question

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Kevin S., MD

Dell & Schaefer has been a huge asset to have on my side! They have been extremely professional, knowledgeable and helpful. I certainly would not want to navigate the disability claim process without them working on my behalf. They lifted a huge load off of my shoulders while I was going through a very stressful and critical period, and worked hard to ensure that my rights under the disability policy were protected. They worked diligently to protect my interests, something the disability carriers will not do!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us