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Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits as a Veteran

(U.S. - May 15, 2019) - If you are currently receiving VA benefits, you may be entitled to additional benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides monthly disability benefits to those who are unable to work for a year or longer. These benefits differ from VA benefits in some of their qualifications, but both can help ease any financial burdens.

Medically Qualifying

Unlike VA benefits, Social Security disability benefits do not require the condition you are experiencing to have happened during active duty. If you have developed a condition after or had a pre-existing condition, they may qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. If you received a low disability rating but have a pre-existing condition or started experiencing one after active duty, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

To find out if you medically qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you need to consult the SSA’s Blue Book. This is the guideline that the SSA uses to establish how different disabling conditions can qualify for benefits. There are many different conditions that qualify, including amputations, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, heart disease, etc.

In the Blue Book, you can also find what documents and test results you will need to for qualify. Review the Blue Book with your doctor to ensure you meet the criteria.

Technical Qualifications

There are two types of Social Security disability benefits. Both require the same medical qualifications described above. The technical qualifications differ though. The type of benefit is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is for those that have a very low household income. This means that if a spouse makes a decent income, then you may not qualify. The second type is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is granted to those who have earned enough work credits by paying taxes into Social Security.

Expedited Claims for Veterans

If you were given a 100% P&T rating, you can have an expedited claim, though this will not guarantee you will receive Social Security disability benefits. Instead, your claim may take only a few weeks to process rather than the few months it typically takes for a decision to be made. When filling out the application, be sure write that you are 100% P&T. If you are applying over the phone with a representative, let the representative know. You’ll need to provide the SSA with a copy of your VA disability rating documents. Wounded Warriors are also able to receive expedited claims.

Starting Your Application

To begin your application, you can do so online from the comfort of your own home or have someone begin the application for you. If you’d rather talk to someone in person, you can visit your local SSA office or call 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative over the phone.

Most applications are initially denied. To increase your chances of approval on your initial application, make sure you have all the proper medical records and documents to support your application. You are able to use both your civilian and military medical records. The more support you provide, the better the chances are of your claim being approved!

Source Cited:

VA Benefits: https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/ Online Application: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib SSA Office Locations: https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/social-security-disability-locations

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