Certain veterans are now able to take advantage of a new effort by the Social Security Administration that will ultimately reduce wait times for these vets in getting an answer back about their SSDI application. The new process, which has already been implemented, would allow vets who have received a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 100 percent Permanent and Total to have their applications expedited.
In order to qualify for the process, vets would have to notify the Social Security Administration of their VA disability rating by including proof in their VA notification letter. And, it is important to remember that simply because a vet receives expedited process of his or her claim does not mean that they will inevitably be approved for Social Security disability benefits.
The Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration use different standards for determining disability, so determinations of impairment do not transfer over accurately. For one thing, the VA uses a disability rating system, whereas the Social Security Administration either considers you disabled or does not. This is important, because there are no intermediate levels of compensation for SSDI beneficiaries. Another big difference, of course, is that applicants’ impairments need not be service-connected to receive SSDI, whereas for the VA they do.
Vets who feel they may qualify for any SSDI benefits should speak with an experienced SSDI advocate to determine whether it may be worthwhile to submit an application. While the wait—aside from the expedited process—can be long, it is well worth it for those who have very limited income due to impairments.
Source: Stripes.com, “Veterans could have Social Security disability benefits expedited,” Jon Harper, February 19, 2019.