Veterans, Did You Know You Can Draw Both VA and Social Security Disability?
Don’t leave money on the table! If you are unable to perform substantial work, you should apply for Social Security disability benefits, EVEN IF you are already drawing VA disability benefits. While the Social Security Administration does not base its decision on the VA disability rating, we can utilize the same medical record evidence to prove an inability to sustain competitive full-time work. SSA may even expedite your claim if you have a 100% VA P&T compensation rating or if your impairment was combat-related (https://www.ssa.gov/people/veterans/).
There are a few key differences between the VA and Social Security disability processes you should know about:
- Social Security disability is all or nothing. The VA bases disability on a percentage. It is not uncommon for someone to have a 10% VA disability rating. With Social Security, there is no partial disability; you meet the criteria or you don’t.
- The definition of disability is different. For VA disability, the applicant must show that they have a disabling condition that was “incurred or aggravated by their military service.” (Source: “Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016 Edition). In contrast, SSA requires applicants to prove that they have an impairment that has lasted or is expected to last, at least 12 months or result in death and that prevents their ability to work at a substantial, gainful level.
- With SSA disability, your age, education and past work may be a determining factor. The SSA adjudicator must decide whether you can perform work. If your impairment does not meet the criteria found in the SSA Listings of Impairments, the next steps of the process involve looking at your vocational factors such as age, education, and skills.
You have served our country and deserve to be justly compensated for your sacrifice. We want to help you. Attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help guide you through the claims process. Contact us today for a free consultation!