If you are a veteran, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in addition to VA benefits
Disabled veterans know that disability benefits are available from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But veterans who are unable to work due to disability may be eligible for a second disability benefit from the Social Security Administration. If you are a veteran, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in addition to VA benefits.
In fact, your claim for Social Security benefits may be processed more quickly because you are a veteran. However, you must meet all the criteria for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration to be approved for benefits.
Disabled veterans have two major ways to obtain benefits from the VA. Veterans with service-connected disabilities can obtain benefits that depend on the extent of their disability. This is called a disability rating and is expressed as a percentage, such as 10 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent.
In some cases, veterans can obtain a cash benefit even if their disabilities are not service-connected. These benefits are available only to veterans who served in wartime, are completely and totally disabled, and have limited income and assets.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) also offers two kinds of disability benefits for people who have a medical impairment that prevents them from working. SSDI is available for people who have worked for enough years. SSI is available for people who do not meet the work requirement, but have limited assets and income.
If you are a veteran who is applying for or receiving VA benefits due to a service-connected disability, you may also be eligible for SSDI. In fact, the Social Security Administration offers expediting processing of certain disability applications by veterans.
Expedited Processing Available For Certain Veterans
Obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a lengthy process. Claims for benefits are commonly denied initially and are obtained after an administrative appeal. As of February 2014, according to the SSA, applicants who requested an administrative hearing in Chicago waited an average of 13 months.
Some veterans may be eligible for expedited processing. In March 2014, the SSA began giving higher priority to veterans who have already received a VA disability rating of 100 percent permanent and total. The SSA committed to rushing these applications through initial determinations and the appeals process.
To be eligible for the expedited processing, the SSA asks veterans to identify their rating as 100 percent permanent and total when they apply. They also need to provide a copy of their VA notification letter that verifies their rating.
Veterans who became disabled while on active military duty after Oct. 1, 2001, are also eligible for an expedited application process.