Starting March 17, 2014, veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T) may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits.
“We have reached another milestone for those who have sacrificed so much for our country and this process ensures they will get the benefits they need quickly,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner. “While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, we can be sure we provide them with the quality of service that they deserve. This initiative is truly a lifeline for those who need it most,” She said the new process is similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors.
To receive the expedited service, veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total and must show proof of their disability rating with their VA notification letter.
The VA rating only expedites Social Security disability claims processing and does not guarantee an approval for Social Security disability benefits, officials emphasized, noting that these veterans still must meet the strict eligibility requirements for a disability allowance.
What do you 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 Security’s definition of “disability.” You are considered disabled under Social Security rules if:
•You cannot do work that you did before;
•We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical
•Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
If you receive VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits.
As a veteran rated 100% P&T, how do you receive expedited processing for Social Security disability benefits?
First, you must apply for Social Security disability benefits. Our office and attorneys are happy to consult with anyone starting this process. You can also:
•Complete your application online;
•Call the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call at TTY 1-800-325-0778; or
•Call or visit your local Social Security office.