If you’re veteran who is unable to work because of your military service, there is good news: You are eligible to receive both VA disability compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time — if you meet the criteria. This blog details how you can apply for benefits and how the programs work.
Social Security Disability Lawyer for Veterans
As a veteran, you deserve the benefits you’ve earned. Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.’s Social Security Disability team can help you secure needed benefits to support yourself and your family. Chellsie Weber, our wildly successful and experienced disability attorney, and Abby Reid, our wonderful and thorough disability paralegal, can offer support and advice as it pertains to your disability and the benefits approval process. Remember, you’re more likely to have a successful disability claim with an attorney by your side. Call us today at 402-991-2100. You also can share your story here.
Receiving Simultaneous Benefits: VA & SSDI
According to the SSA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), more than 950,000 veterans received SSDI during 2016. While VA disability compensation and SSDI both provide monthly benefits to disabled workers, both have very different rules and follow different procedures for determining eligibility, setting payments, and approving claims.
If you are approved for VA benefits, it does not mean you will automatically qualify for SSDI. But, if you received a 100% permanent and total (P&T) rating for your disability through the VA, you could have your SSDI claim expedited and get a decision more quickly.
Differences In Disability Programs
If you were injured while serving in the military, or if you developed a mental or physical illness because of your military service, or if you had a pre-existing condition to worsen because of your military service, your VA disability claim may be approved. Any VA compensation is based on your service-connected disability. You do not have to be fully disabled to be awarded compensation. Your disability will be given a rating – which is on a percentage scale – and based on how much that specific condition affects your ability to function.
Your compensation is based on that rating, so you can have a 10% rating and receive compensation. You can get a 100% rating from having multiple conditions even if a single condition is not disabling on its own. You can also have a 100% disability rating that is classified as total, but not permanent. This means the VA believes your condition will improve.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) only awards disability benefits for conditions that are expected to last a year or longer and that are fully disabling. They will also consider your military and non-military related conditions. As an example, you may have a 10% compensability rating with the VA for a back injury, but you may also have diabetes and a heart condition. The SSA may find you are fully disabled and award SSDI benefits because of all your conditions combined.
The Wounded Warrior Program
If you receive a 100% P&T rating from the VA, your SSDI claim will be expedited. You will need to write 100% P&T in the Remarks section of the online SSDI application and provide the SSA with a copy of the letter sent by the VA that confirms your rating. Even if you do not have a 100% P&T rating, you may qualify for expedited claims processing through the Wounded Warrior program, which prioritizes disabled veterans claims for those disabled while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001.
Get Your Claim Underway With An Attorney
If you are unable to work and you are ready to file for VA disability, SSDI, or both, call an experienced disability attorney. Watson and Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., has helped hundreds of disabled veterans access the disability benefits they are entitled to receive.
About Watson & Carroll
Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case, or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld.