Disabled vet and expedited processing for SSDI benefits?Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I fought in the Iraq war and was injured when my vehicle was attacked. I am now a disabled vet with a 100% disability rating , and I am currently receive VA disability benefits. I understand that I might also qualify to receive SSDI benefits. Is this true and if so, what do I need to do to apply?
VA disability Compensation for a disabled vet
VA disability benefits are tax free benefits paid to disabled veterans who are injured or whose injury was aggravated while in active military service. Compensation can range from $133 per month to over $3,300 per month depending on several factors such as the type and degree of injury, whether the injury is severe or resulted in a loss of limb(s), whether you have a spouse or dependent children, and whether your spouse is disabled.
Unlike other types of government disability programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), however, VA disability benefits can be paid to claimants who are less than 100% disabled.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a disabled vet
Now, you asked if you can receive both VA disability benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time. Yes, you can. In fact, because you are already receiving VA disability and you have a disability rating of 100%, your chance for winning SSDI benefits is actually quite high. Plus, there is another benefit of having a VA disability rating of 100%- the Social Security Administration may expedite the processing of your SSDI disability claim.
Its important, however, that before you apply for SSDI benefits that you review the requirements and make sure you meet them. Specifically, you will want to review your medical evidence and verify that it clearly states that you are unable to do substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition(s); and that your medical condition(s) are expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. You will also need to make sure you are not working and earning too much money to qualify for SSDI benefits.
How does a disabled vet apply for SSDI and take advantage of expedited processing?
Unfortunately, the Social Security Disability Insurance process can be complicated, and even with expedited processing, you will need to complete application and fill out a variety of forms. To complete the application, you can do any of the following.
- Complete your application online;
- Call the SSA toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213.
- Call or visit your local Social Security office. If you choose to visit an office in-person you will want to make an appointment.
Next, you will want to make sure to identify yourself as a veteran rated 100% P&T. This information can be given directly to the representative on the phone, in person or in writing on your on-line application in the Remarks section of your application. Be sure and have your VA Notification letter on-hand as proof of your disability status.
Assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI, you should be able to get SSDI benefits fairly easily if you have a 100% disability rating from the VA.