It is not uncommon for a disabled veteran who is applying for Social Security Disability benefits to already have been approved for VA disability benefits. Individuals who are receiving VA disability benefits are not barred from also receiving SSD benefits; it is possible to receive both types of benefits. However, just because a veteran has been approved for VA disability benefits does not necessarily mean they will also be found to qualify for SSD benefits. The two programs each have their own separate eligibility requirements.
However, being given one certain type of disability compensation rating by the VA can carry a certain advantage for a veteran when it comes to the SSD application process: it may mean that they won’t have to wait as long to receive a decision on their SSD claim.
The rating in question is the “100% permanent and total” rating. Under an initiative put in place earlier this year, veterans who have been given such a rating and are applying for SSD benefits can have the processing of their SSD application expedited. To request expedited processing, a veteran with such a rating is to mention on their SSD application that they have this rating and provide documentation verifying that they do in fact have this rating.
As this expedited processing mechanism illustrates, there can be some special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to applying for SSD benefits as a veteran. Disability attorneys can help veterans who are seeking SSD benefits determine if they qualify for any special initiatives, like the expedited processing initiative, and can assist them with the compiling and filing of their SSD application.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Information For Wounded Warriors And Veterans Who Have A Compensation Rating Of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T),” Accessed Sept. 26, 2014