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Veterans and Social Security Disability

Are you a veteran who has a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T)? If so, then you are in luck. The Social Security Administration (SSA) expedites the processing of disability claims that are filed by veterans such as yourself.

As you probably know, there is the Social Security Disability program and the Veterans Affairs program, both of which pay disability benefits to those who qualify, however, the programs are different. The processes and eligibility requirements for both programs are different as well.

If you have been given a Veterans Affairs compensation rating of 100% P & T, unfortunately that rating does not automatically guarantee that you’ll be eligible for disability benefits under the SSDI program.

In order for you to be eligible under Social Security’s program, your impairment must be expected to last at least one full year, or result in death.

To qualify for SSDI, your medical condition must be so severe that you cannot perform any type of meaningful work.

For example, if you lost your legs in combat and you’re confined to a wheelchair, but your arms and hands are fully functional, you can still handle data entry type work, and you can still answer phones or work in customer service. In that case, you probably wouldn’t qualify for disability.

Note: If you receive Veterans Affair compensation, we have good news for you: it will not affect your Social Security benefits.

How do I receive expedited processing?

Assuming you are a veteran rated 100% P&T, you can move forward and apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

When you apply for disability benefits, you will need to inform the SSA that you are a veteran rated 100% P&T. You will also need to submit your Veterans Affairs notification letter to the SSA, verifying your rating.

Once Social Security verifies that you are in fact a veteran rated 100% P&T, the SSA will classify your claim as a high priority and it will put a rush on your application. How quickly will the SSA made a decision about your claim? It depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of disability that you have,
  • How quickly the SSA receives medical evidence from your treating healthcare providers, and
  • Whether the SSA needs you to have a special medical exam to support your claim.

You can help speed up the process by having all of the required information available when you first submit your application.

If you are a veteran who wishes to apply for disability benefits under the Social Security program, contact our Dallas SSDI attorneys for assistance!