Not Listing All Of Your Disabilities
Often, a disabled individual will want to claim disability benefits for a disability. They will even become angry when Social Security asks about other conditions that they feel are unrelated to their claim. They might ask, Why is Social Security asking me about my depression when Im claiming disability due to my heart condition?.
When evaluating a disability claim, the SSA evaluates all conditions to determine if a person is disabled. Usually, the more medical conditions a person has, the more limitations they have. This helps their case since the majority of claims are won based on a combination of impairments.
Remember, the SSAs process is different from the VAs. They determine whether youre disabled or not, rather than awarding benefits for varying degrees of disability. So, you want to list all possible disabilities to support your claim.
Benefits Approval For Disabled Veterans
VA benefits are also known as compensation for a service-related disability. The VA only considers disabilities that resulted from military service. VA compensation is not based on income.
You are compensated on partial disability through the VA disability program. The SSA will not compensate for partial disability or partial loss of employability. In the past, another major difference in disability from the SSA and the VA involved the treating physician rule.
Up until March 27, 2017, the SSA gave extra weight to the treating physicians opinion. The VA, however, would review the claimants entire medical file, with no extra weight given to any specific evidence. After March 27, 2017, the SSA will not give deference to the opinions or records provided by the treating physician.
What Do I Need To Know About The Va And Social Security Programs
Both Social Security and VA pay disability benefits. However, their programs, processes, and criteria for receiving benefits are very different.
A VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits. To be approved for Social Security benefits, you must meet Social Securitys definition of disability. To be found disabled:
- You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition and
- Your medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.
If you receive VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits. For a quick, side-by-side comparison of each program, please reference this Fact Sheet.
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Social Security Disability Benefits Guide For Veterans
Some veterans receiving VA disability benefits may qualify for Social Security disability as well. These are two separate benefits, awarded through the Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration respectively, so veterans will need to apply for each separately.
The main difference between veterans disability and Social Security disability is that the VA grants benefits based on varying degrees of disability, while the SSA makes a determination as to whether a claimant is disabled or not. You either receive full Social Security benefits or not.
Its also important to note that your VA disability compensation will count as income and potentially lower your Social Security payments.
The attorneys at Hill & Ponton put together this guide for veterans seeking social security disability benefits in addition to their VA benefits.
How Do I Find Out My Social Security Benefit Amount
Your Social Security Statement, which the SSA recently redesigned, is the best place to find your SSDI benefit amount. You can find your statement online at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
If you don’t receive benefits yet, your Social Security Statement will show you what your SSDI payment will be if you get approved for disability benefits this year. It also shows what your retirement benefit would be at age 62, 67, and 70. You can also check your entire covered earnings history on your Social Security Statement.
The SSA still has an online benefits calculator that you can use to get an estimate of your monthly benefits, but if you sign up for an account to see your new Social Security Statement, you won’t need it. You can also call your local Social Security office, and a field representative will be able to help you estimate what your benefits would be.
Average SSDI Benefit in 2022
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You May Qualify For Legal Assistance
Filing your SSD claim through an attorney makes you 2x more likely to get approved for the max benefit amount within 6 months. Those who apply on their own without legal assistance typically wait 2+ years for their first benefit payment. Even with a 100% P& T rating, Social Security disability for veterans may be difficult to get because the agencys eligibility rules are completely different. However, you can sign up for a free phone call with a Social Security attorney to discuss your claim before you file. Its the fastest and easiest way to get confidential claim advice without ever leaving your house!
All disability attorneys work on contingency. That means if the SSA wont award you benefits, then you pay the lawyer $0 for legal assistance. And if your case wins, then youll only pay a small, one-time fee. Most people who apply with legal assistance through our website qualify for $10,000 in lump-sum back pay as well as monthly benefits.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Service From 1978 Through 2001
For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after Sep. 7, 1980, and didnt complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.
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Diagnoses Of Special Interest
Two diagnoses for veterans are of special interest to SSA, the VA, and policymakers: PTSD and traumatic brain injury . Both diagnoses have been associated with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In this section, we focus on DI applicants with VA ratings for PTSD , residuals of TBI , and dementia associated with TBI .22
As we have demonstrated, veterans with VA ratings of 100% or IU who apply for DI benefits tend to be in older age groups. The same is true of veterans diagnosed with PTSD or TBI. Chart 20 shows the age distribution of DI applicants rated for PTSD or TBI at any level from 10% to 100%. The largest proportions of VA awardees applying for DI benefits were in the oldest age group of DI applicants . The vast majority of DI applicants with a VA rating for PTSD filed after reaching age 50 those individuals are likely to be Vietnam veterans. There are few DI applicants among younger veterans with PTSD ratings. Younger veterans were more widely represented among DI applicants with TBI than they were among those with PTSD nevertheless, the oldest age group still constituted the largest proportion of DI applicants with TBI. It appears that the disabling impact of PTSD and TBI emerges at older ages, rather than at the time of separation from service.
Assistance Obtaining Disability Benefits For Veterans In North Carolina
According to statistics provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 23 million veterans throughout the nation. A significant percentage of these men and women 771,654 of them live here in North Carolina. Of these, 131,648 are currently receiving disability compensation or pension payments. If you have a history of qualifying service and can meet the eligibility requirements for disability, you may be able to join this number by obtaining disability benefits to help you support yourself and your family.
The North Carolina Social Security Disability team at Golson, McCracken Inc. takes pride in fighting for people who have been left disabled as a result of their military service, and we encourage you to let us represent you in your claim for benefits.
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Social Security Application Assistance
Veterans who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits may become overwhelmed by the process and may want assistance with their application. Americans are allowed to appoint a qualified representative to represent them on their behalf throughout the SSAs disability application process. The issue is that the SSA wrongfully denies qualified applicants and less than 20% of all applicants are actually approved for benefits. Generally denials occur when the applicant improperly filed an application, didnt provide enough medical evidence of the condition, or is currently making too much in earned and/or unearned income .
Experienced Disability Advocates or Attorneys have much higher approval rates with some up as high as 70% at the initial stage of the application process. Advocates and Attorneys have expertise in dealing with the SSA and know what exactly what the SSA looks during the application process. If you would like assistance in filling out an application for Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Disability Care Center for help at 723-4650.
Understand The Social Security Disability System
When an individual applies for social security disability, the application can be complete three ways an application can be completed at the applicants local social security field office , online at SSA.GOV or over the phone. Once completed, an initial decision takes between 60-120 days. However, if the applicant is a veteran they may file a form known as 1-2-1-95 . This expedited process is for members of the military who served after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred. A further expedition may be granted for veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100 percent.
After submission of the application the disability claim is then assigned to a member of the disability determination services office a medical examiner. This examiner will compile all the medical documents needed to render a decision and after gathering the documents will consult with a licensed physician or psychologist who works with the SSA. The doctor and medical examiner will complete the evaluation by deciding whether or not the applicant is approved for disability. The SSA statistically shows that 70 percent of first time applicants are initially denied. Hopefully the claim is approved in which the Social Security Administration considered the individual 100 percent disabled and will receive one of the two disability benefit programs SSI or SSDI.
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Does Being Approved For Benefits From One Program Help Approval For The Other
If you are approved for disability benefits from one program, that does not mean you will automatically be approved for disability benefits from the other program. In prior years, if you were given a very high VA rating, such as 70% or more, you had greater odds of being approved for Social Security benefits.
Federal circuit courts had determined that decisions made by the VA warranted great weight in the Social Security disability claims process. As of 2017, the SSA will no longer take VA disability approvals into consideration when determining about Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA will consider all evidence that the VA considered when making its determination whether to award disability benefits. If you are approved for benefits from the SSA first, the VA might not give much weight to the SSA ruling because it will not be clear as to whether your disabilities are service-related or not.
Often, veterans have disabilities that are service-related as well as those that are not related to military duty. To prove to the VA that the veteran is unable to work because of service-related disabilities, a vocational expert might have to be hired by the veteran to attribute the unemployability specifically to military-related disabilities.
Potential Impact Of The Brave Act On Di
Our findings definitively show that the BRAVE Act would increase DI program costs by allowing benefits to be paid to disabled veterans with VA ratings of 100% or IU whose impairments do not meet SSA’s current disability standards. The BRAVE Act could create a bifurcated DI program by establishing different medical eligibility standards for disabled veterans and the general population. The allowance rate for veterans with a total-disability rating would increase from its current level of 69 percent to 100 percent. Moreover, if disabled veterans with a VA rating of 100% or IU were automatically eligible for DI, an induced entry effect would likely ensue. That is, some disabled veterans who have not applied for DI would be encouraged to do so, and all of those new applications filed by insured workers not engaging in SGA would result in entitlement to DI benefits. Of the disabled veterans with a VA rating of 100% or IU, the 47 percent who had never before been entitled to DI would now be entitled if they were insured for disability at the point of disability onset and were not working above the SGA level.
The BRAVE Act could also affect the VA disability compensation program. Automatic entitlement to DI disabled-worker benefits could induce more veterans to file an initial benefit claim with VA or to seek a higher disability rating, increasing VA administrative and program costs.
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If I Do Not Qualify For Ssdi Or Va Disability Compensation Is There Any Other Program That Can Help Me
Yes. If you do not qualify for SSDI benefits because you do not have enough work credits, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits. You will have to meet the same medical standards and have low income and few assets.
If you do not qualify for VA disability compensation, you might qualify for a VA disability pension which is sometimes called a non-service connected pension. A VA disability pension can be based on a disability that is not service-related. Similar to SSI, a VA disability pension requires the recipient to have low income.
Programs Affecting One Another
SSDI payments and VA disability benefits will not affect each other, meaning you can receive full monthly payments from both programs. SSDI benefits are also available to eligible spouses or children. The Social Security Administration does offer another type of benefits known as Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, which would be affected by VA disability. People who receive SSI have a low income and limited resources, and are usually awarded to veterans who receive VA Pension, not VA disability benefits.
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Not Submitting The Information Social Security Requests
Most claimants hate the tedious forms Social Security and the Office of Disability sends them to complete. Oftentimes, the same forms are sent at the second level of a claim as the first. Claimants wont complete these forms because they feel they have already answered the questions.
This is a mistake. When you dont send the information Social Security is requesting, they will delay the processing of their claim. This could have additional negative consequences on your claim.
When Are Veterans Eligible For Social Security Disability
You are only eligible for disability benefits from Social Security if you have worked full-time at least five of the last ten years. If you wait too long after you stop working before you apply for Social Security benefits, you may no longer be able to receive them.
Often you can receive Social Security disability benefits in addition to any disability compensation you are paid by the VA. On the other hand, if you have a VA pension, Social Security payments may put you above the program’s income limits and disqualify you for your pension.
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How Do Va Benefits Affect Social Security
There are two different types of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income .
SSDI only counts earned income therefore, VA disability benefits have no effect on entitlement to SSDI.
However, SSI is need-based any contribution from VA disability benefits will count towards income for the month. The income limit for SSI for 2018 is $750 per month. If you receive more than $750 in VA disability each month, you will not qualify for SSI.
In addition, VA disability will also lower your SSI payment. Because the Social Security Administration considers VA disability as income, it will subtract anything you receive from your potential benefit. This is called an offset.
For example, if you have a 20 percent disability rating and receive $269.30 a month from the VA, the SSA will deduct that from your potential monthly benefit. You would then only be eligible to receive $480.70 in SSI benefits.
How The Expedited Claim Review Process Works For Eligible Veterans
If youre a veteran with a 100% P& T rating, you likely qualify for an expedited claim review. That means you basically skip to the front of the line so the claims examiner reviews your records first.
According to the SSA, you must clearly state your 100% P& T rating on your Social Security disability application. To do this, simply write disabled veteran, 100% P& T in the remarks section on your claim paperwork. Applying for benefits online? Then you should type the exact same words in that section of the online claim form. If you apply over the phone, tell the SSA representative about your status. Say, Im a disabled veteran whos already rated 100% P and T by the Department of Veterans Affairs. That way, the phone agent helping you apply for SSD benefits can add the appropriate flag to your application. You also need to give the SSA a copy of your VA rating notification letter that verifies the authenticity of your status.
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