The Veterans Administration (VA) factors in the existence of dependents for veterans or their surviving spouses who are receiving a pension, compensation, or educational benefits and, if the circumstances allow, will increase the amount of the benefits for the veteran.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and Social Security have it in their remit to consider the increase, or augmentation, of the benefit to be income, not to the veteran or survivng spouse but to the dependent whose existence caused the increase. A dependent who is also receiving SSI will have that added income considered to be countable unearned income and

can therefore be consigned to losing all but $20 of that money, which he most likely will never see, from his monthly SSI check. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is often termed as ‘needs based’, which means that if you have an extra dollar in your pocket you don’t need as much SSI to get by. In fact, the powers-that-be have determined that you don’t even need to have that extra income: you can be judged to be receiving money even though you’re not. A fine example here is, of course, In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) which allows Social Security to deduct up to a third of someone’s SSI if that individual is deemed not to be paying their fair share of food and shelter costs.

Along those lines comes along another way for the innocent SSI recipient to lose some of his means of financial support even though he most likely isn’t actually receiving any additional funds. In a dusty corner of Social Security’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) lurks the chapter on Augmented VA Benefits.

Once more, it would seem, the country’s most needy individuals are kept in their place.

For further reading here’s the POMS section: SSA – POMS: SI 00830.314 – Augmented Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits – 10/31/2017