DISABLED VETERANS QUALIFY FOR SSA EXPEDITED REVIEW
Did you know that Veterans who are 100% service-connected qualify for expedited review with the Social Security Administration? This means that if you apply for Social Security Disability, you may not have to wait so long for a decision. Because you are a Veteran, the SSA is giving your disability case faster processing. However, you must also have been found totally 100% disabled by the Veterans Administration to qualify.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VA DISABILITY RATING SYSTEM AND SSA DISABILITY BENEFITS
Both Social Security and the VA pay disability benefits to those that qualify. However, the two government programs have very different criteria for receiving disability benefits. Under the VA program, there is a rating system. The rating system applies if you have injuries while in service. It is possible to obtain some form of monthly Veterans disability benefits even if you can still work. SSA benefits are not like that.
In order to receive Social Security disability benefits you must not be able to work due to your disability. To receive disability benefits from Social Security, a person must have a severe impairment that they expect to last at least one year or that will result in death. The SSA program does not pay benefits as a percentage of your disability. You may be found entitled to 100% service-connected benefits by the VA, but that does not guarantee you will automatically receive Social Security disability benefits. However, the SSA must consider the VA’s disability decision.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FOR DISABLED VETERANS
If you are a Veteran and qualify through the Veteran’s Administration for 100% service-connected disability benefits, you are entitled to an expedited review of your Social Security Disability case. Disability benefits through the Veterans Administration and disability benefits through the Social Security Administration require separate applications. However, Veterans who have already been determined to be 100% service-connected can receive expedited processing of disability claims from the Social Security Administration.
The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred. If you are a Veteran, contact Cannon Disability Law for free to find out if you qualify for Social Security’s expedited review process.
HOW TO GET A FASTER REVIEW OF YOUR DISABILITY CASE
If you are a disabled veteran, who has a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA, you must do certain things to notify the SSA to quickly process your case. Here are the things you must do:
- First, identify yourself as a “veteran rated 100% P&T” when you apply for SSDI benefits. If you apply in person or over the phone, tell the Social Security representative that you are a veteran and the VA rates you at 100%.
- If you apply for SSD benefits online, enter “Veteran 100% P&T” in the “Remarks” section of the application. We also recommend submitting a letter to the SSA stating that you are requesting expedited review of your case. You can apply online at www.ssa.gov.
- Provide the SSA with your Veterans Affairs notification letter, which verifies your rating.
- After Social Security identifies you as a veteran rated 100% P&T, they will treat your claim as a high priority. This means they will rush it through the application process.
HOW LONG DOES EXPEDITED REVIEW OF YOUR DISABILITY CLAIM TAKE?
Once the SSA identifies your case as a high priority, it should take less time for them to process your claim. Normally, it can take up to two years, from filing the application to obtaining a hearing, for you to obtain benefits. With a faster review, however, the SSA may grant your claim in a matter of months. At a minimum, even if you have to go to a hearing with a disability judge, you will have your hearing date sooner than other applicants.
One of the best ways to make sure the SSA does their job is to hire a disability attorney. At Cannon Disability, our legal team has over 60 years of combined experience. We have won over 20,000 disability cases. We also have experience representing Veterans before the SSA and before the Veterans Administration. When we file your SSD application, we will immediately inform the SSA that you are a disabled veteran. Therefore, they will know that your case should receive expedited review.
FACTORS THAT IMPACT THE WAITING TIME WITH THE SSA
The amount of time it takes for the SSA to evaluate your case depends upon certain factors. First, they will look at the nature of your disability. For example, they will evaluate your case under the SSA listings. Second, one of the main reasons for delay in cases is it takes a long time to get medical evidence. Your case will go faster if you obtain medical evidence from your doctor. Likewise, if you have other medical sources, like a counselor or a chiropractor, you need to submit that evidence too.
Sometimes, when the SSA decides to grant a case, it is because they have sent you out for a medical examination with one of their doctors. Even though your physician supports your disability case, the SSA may not accept that opinion. The SSA likes to obtain their own evidence. They call this a consultative exam. If they send you to see one of their doctors, make sure you attend the appointment and provide that doctor with your medical records. Do not rely on the SSA to provide your records to their doctor, because they usually don’t do it.
DISABLED VETERANS DESERVE A FAST DECISION
At Cannon Disability, we believe Veterans deserve a fast disability decision. If you are service-connected through the VA and are receiving monthly disability benefits, you can still apply for SSD benefits. Most veterans, however, do not qualify for SSI benefits. The reason most veterans do not get SSI, is their monthly VA benefit excess the SSI resource limit. For example, in Utah, the SSI benefit amount is currently $771 per month. If you are receiving more money than this in veterans disability benefits, then you cannot receive SSI benefits. Your income disqualifies you. However, SSD is for veterans. The amount of your income and assets does not matter in the SSD program. This is true, as long as you are not working and you are receiving service-connected VA benefits.
If you are wondering if VA disability benefits affect Social Security benefits, then the answer is yes. But only if you are already receiving non-service connected VA benefits. There is an offset of SSD for veterans who are receiving non-service connected VA benefits. The offset amount depends upon the amount of money you receive from each government program.
CANNON DISABILITY LAW CAN HELP YOU WIN DISABILITY BENEFITS
At Cannon Disability, our disability legal team understands the law and knows the difficulties you are facing if you cannot work. If you hire us to represent you and we do not win your case, you do not owe us an attorney fee. Veterans serve our country and we believe they deserve the best legal representation.
If you want to find out more about our legal team, you are in the right place. Dianna Cannon has 30 years of experience practicing disability law and is licensed to practice law in 4 states. Andria Summers has 20 years of experience representing claimants on appeal and in court. Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of disability cases in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California.
We represent Veterans in disability claims no matter where they live. Although we can’t guarantee we will win your case, we will do our very best to help you through the disability process. Contact us today to hire a disability attorney with the experience to win your case.