Social Security Administration Announces Expedited Processing of Disability Benefits for Certain Disabled Veterans
The process for receiving social security disability (SSD) benefits can take many long months, but a new initiative launched by the Social Security Administration (SSA) promises an expedited process for certain disabled veterans. Effective March 17th, veterans with a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T) from the Department of Veterans Affairs may receive expedited processing of their SSD application. Eligible veterans should inform SSA of their rating when they apply for SSD and include their VA Notification Letter as proof of their 100% P&T rating.
This expedited process applies to all qualifying veterans regardless of when they served. A similar program granting expedited processing of disability benefits for wounded warriors has already been in place for military service members who became or become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001.
Besides the moral and political issue of supporting our veterans in every way possible, this initiative makes sense from a practical standpoint. Even though the criteria for receiving VA disability and SSD are different, it seems likely that individuals who have already been through the process of receiving a disability rating with one government agency will qualify for SSD as well. Expediting the process for veterans will not only honor our nation’s heroes but also possibly reduce the backlog of claims and thereby help other claims get processed faster as well.
It should be made clear, however, that this expedited process only refers to the processing of the claim and is no guarantee that the claim will be approved. Anywhere from one-half to two-thirds of all applications for SSD are initially denied under Social Security’s strict rules, and even people with serious disabilities who cannot work may be shut out from receiving benefits without the aid of tenacious and experienced social security disability attorneys on their side.