Beginning on March 17, 2014, veterans applying for Social Security disability benefits who have a 100 % service-connected disability rating received at any time from the Veterans Administration may receive an expedited decision in their SSA disability claim. The new policy to treat these military veterans’ claims as a high priority, unveiled on February 19, 2014, seeks to recognize the sacrifice that veterans have made by granting veterans more expedient access to their SSA disability benefits. The new expedited process for all 100% service-connected veterans will be similar to the way Social Security expedites benefits claims from the Wounded Warriors program, which for the last three years has expedited SSA claims and appeals only for veterans whose disability began after October 1, 2001, during active military service
If you are a veteran applying for benefits, in order for your claim to be expedited, you must tell Social Security that you have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% permanent and total, as well as provide proof of your disability rating with your VA Notification Letter.
A VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total does not guarantee a favorable decision in your disability claim. VA disability rules are significantly different from SSA requirements. You must still meet Social Security’s definition of disability:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
If you are receiving VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits.
I am a veteran with 100% permanent and total, how do I receive an expedited processing of Social Security benefits?
First, you must apply for social security benefits. If you have questions, please call the LaPorte Law Firm at 408-293-8810. We can also help you file your application and represent your claim throughout the appeals process, if necessary. When you arrive for your appointment at our law offices, please provide your VA Notification letter verifying your 100% permanent and total rating.
For more information about the upcoming SSA program for expedited consideration of SSA claims for 100% VA service connected veterans, please see the latest Social Security news.
SSA issued an “Emergency Message”, effective March 17, 2014, providing an explanation of the new policy.