Social Security Disability for Soldiers & Veterans –
At Cantrell Green we admire and respect the service given to our country by America’s soldiers. No amount of appreciation can compensate for these brave men and women’s injuries, disabilities and health issues arising from military service.
We understand that the physical, psychological and financial effects of military service can be profound and lasting. Many veterans have a “compensation rating” of “100% P&T” – which means one hundred percent permanent and total disability.
But many disabled veterans are unaware that Social Security can actually expedite the processing of their disability claims. In this article our experienced disability attorneys set forth some information that wounded warriors and veterans who have a compensation rating of 100% P&T should know about Social Security.
Disability Benefits for Soldiers & Veterans– Los Angeles Attorneys
Veterans Who Have a VA Compensation Rating of 100% P&T
Starting in March 17, 2014, Social Security laws were changed to assist veterans in obtaining benefits more quickly. Now, veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% P&T (permanent and total) disability may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits.
Does Getting VA Disability Benefits Guarantee Social Security Disability Benefits?
While Social Security and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) pay disability benefits, their programs, processes, and criteria for receiving benefits are very different. And, even having a VA compensation rating of 100% P&T does not automatically guarantee that you will receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
For a Veteran to be approved for Social Security benefits, he or she must also meet Social Security’s definition of “disability”:
1. You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and
2. Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.
Will Receiving VA Benefits Affect my Social Security Benefits?
Some sources of income can affect your Social Security Disability benefits. But, if you receive VA compensation, it will NOT affect your Social Security benefits.
How does a 100% P&T Veteran receive expedited processing for Social Security disability benefits?
1. First, you must apply for Social Security disability benefits. You can do this online, over the phone, or by visiting your local social security office. You may also hire an experienced Social Security Disability law firm such as ours to submit the application for you.
2. When you apply you must identify yourself as a “veteran rated 100% P&T” when you submit your SSD application. (If applying online put this information in the “remarks” section of the application)
3. You must then provide your VA Notification letter which verifies that you are 100% P &T compensation rated to the Social Security Administration.
How long does expedited processing of SSD for 100% P &T veterans take?
The length of time it takes the Social Security Administration to make a disability decision depends on several different factors.
The SSD applications of wounded warriors and disabled veterans who are 100% P&T will be moved to the “top of the review pile” – so to speak. However – because disabled veterans still must meet the SSA’s definition of “disability” – there can still be delays caused by the evaluation process.
Some of the factors that will typically slow any Social Security disability applications (for veterans and non-veterans alike) are:
1. The nature of your disability.
In order to be considered “disabled” by Social Security, you have to prove that you have a physical or mental disease or injury that is severe enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months. The SSA takes into consideration your age, your education, and your past work when deciding whether you should be found disabled.
2. Medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources.
Even though your application gets priority processing as a 100% P&T veteran, the SSA still needs to collect, examine and evaluate your medical records. If your records are missing or incomplete – or if your doctor fails to submit them – you can experience the same delays as a non-veteran applicant.
3. Whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination in order to obtain evidence to support your claim.
In certain circumstances to SSA will send you for an additional medical examination to further evaluate your SSD claim. This can also slow down the process.
Experienced Los Angeles Attorneys for Disabled Veterans Social Security
The experienced Social Security attorneys at Cantrell Green want to do everything we can to assist our country’s brave soldiers obtain the disability benefits that they deserve. We understand that you have served your country at great personal sacrifice – and that you need these benefits to support yourself and your family.
If you are a disabled veteran or soldier and you are considering applying for Social Security benefits, call our caring and experienced Social Security attorneys today for a free consultation. We would be honored to help you understand your benefit eligibility and assist you with processing your SSD claim as quickly as possible.