Disabled veterans can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, regardless of whether their disability is directly related to their military service. The different VA ratings that you receive for service-connected disabilities can affect your Social Security Disability claim. Here is a closer look at how VA ratings affect Social Security Disability claims and how you could receive Social Security Disability benefits as a disabled veteran.
Looking At VA Ratings
Here is a closer look at how your VA rating could affect your Social Security Disability claim. If you have a service-connected disability, you will apply for VA benefits. When you do this, your condition will be reviewed, and you will be awarded a compensability rating. The higher that rating, the more severe your disability. Of course, the higher your rating, the greater your monthly benefits.
- 100% P&T – if you have a 100% P&T disability rating, then you are considered fully disabled by the VA. While your SSDI claim will not be automatically approved, you will qualify to have your claim expedited. This means that you will receive a decision as to whether your Social Security Disability claim is approved more quickly.
- 90% VA Compensability Rating – If your VA rating is 90%, then you are likely to be approved for Social Security Disability, but your medical condition must meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing. You will need supporting medical evidence to back up your claim.
- 80% VA Compensability Rating – If you have an 80% rating with the VA, you are likely to qualify for Social Security Disability, but you are still required to meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing.
- 50% or greater VA Rating – If your VA rating is 50% or higher, it is likely you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but you still must provide supporting evidence to meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing.
- Less than 50% VA Disability Rating – If you have a disability rating of less than 50%, even as low as 0%, you can still qualify for SSDI, but you need to meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing. For SSDI, your disability does not need to be related to your military service, but it can be. You can combine medical issues to include both service-connected and non-service-related issues.
Be sure to review your award letter from the VA and keep a copy of it along with your medical records to include with your Social Security Disability claim.
While there are similarities between the VA disability and SSA disability programs, both have very different criteria that must be met. You will need to provide the supporting evidence that program requires, and you will need to have supporting medical evidence. If you are a disabled veteran who is applying for VA disability and/or Social Security disability, you could benefit from the help of a disability attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of your claim with an attorney who represents disabled workers in your area.