Tens of thousands of military veterans apply for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) each year. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has enacted regulations that are designed to help military veterans who have applied for benefits.
Can I Still Apply for SSDI If I’m Already Getting VA Benefits?
If you are already receiving VA benefits, you can still apply for SSDI, as you are eligible to receive both SSDI and VA benefits at the same time. Also, unlike some other programs, such as State Disability or Workers’ Compensation, the SSA does not reduce, or “offset”, the amount you are eligible to receive in SSDI.
It is important to note that having a VA service-connected disability rating does not mean you will automatically qualify for Social Security benefits. Unlike the VA, the SSA does not assign disability percentages, nor does it determine “how much benefits” you should receive based on your health or conditions.
However, your VA service-connected disability rating could help speed up the processing of your claim under two programs that could qualify you for critical case processing:
The Wounded Warriors Program
You may qualify to have your case expedited if you became disabled while you were deployed on active military service after October 1, 2001. The SSA does not consider where or how the condition happened. If you treated for the condition at a medical facility, obtain the medical records, or ask your advocate to request them for you. Once the SSA has the required evidence, your case will be decided more quickly. If you are denied, the case remains expedited through all stages of appeal.
100% Permanent and Total VA Disability Rating
In March of 2014, the Social Security Administration enacted a new regulation for veterans who have received a 100% disability rating from the VA. If you have been assessed with a 100% disability rating, request a copy of your Rating Decision from the VA. Like the Wounded Warrior Program, you will be eligible for critical case processing at all levels of appeal.
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About Citizens Disability, LLC:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled.