Veterans who have suffered disabling conditions in service to the country may have options in terms of seeking disability benefits. People in San Diego may realize that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides resources for many of our disabled vets. However, the Social Security Administration also is a possible resource for veterans who are disabled and cannot work due to a disabling condition.
SSA rules recognize that physical or mental impairments can make it impossible for a person to work. The Social Security disability insurance program is set up to provide resources for disabled workers to pay basic bills to put food on the table and a roof above. Veterans may qualify for SSDI benefits, but the application process can be arduous. Notably, a disabled veteran must apply separately for SSDI benefits—SSDI benefits are not automatically addressed through the VA.
The SSA announced last week that veterans who have already received a 100 percent Permanent and Total disability rating from the VA may qualify for a fast-track eligibility decision from the SSA. While the fast-track process does not guarantee that a veteran will be approved for SSDI benefits, the streamlined review process could significantly reduce the wait for a decision. The fast-track process applies at all stages of the application and appeals process, according to the SSA.
The acting commissioner of the SSA says that the nation’s “veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and it is only right that we ensure they have timely access to the disability benefits they may be eligible for and deserve,” according to a press release. The agency hopes the system will be in operation in March.
Veterans in the San Diego Area who have received a 100 percent disability rating from the VA may qualify for an expedited eligibility determination by notifying the SSA of the VA rating, and providing a copy of the VA Notification letter. A San Diego area SSDI benefits lawyer may assist a disabled veteran in seeking benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Social Security Announces New Expedited Disability Process for Veterans," Feb. 19, 2014