When it comes to disability benefits, Social Security and the Veterans’ Benefits Administration are separate systems with very different application and approval processes. However, veterans who have scored a high disability rating with the VA will find that it is easier to attain disability benefits from Social Security.
Working With the VA Disability Rating Scale
As you may already know, a veteran doesn’t need to be totally disabled to receive compensation from the VA. Once a veteran has demonstrated that he has a service-connected disability, he is given a VA disability rating on a scale of 0 to 100%.
A 100% rating means the veteran will be unable to maintain any employment due to the service-connected disability, while a 0% score documents a disability issue that may limit employment options in the future. Veterans may receive compensation for disability ratings as low as 10%.
Veterans with disabilities rated 70% or higher by the VA are often more successful in filing a Social Security disability claim. That’s because like Social Security, the VA is a federal agency that has established independently that a veteran is extremely limited in his ability to perform full-time work if he is able to work at all. The findings of the VA system will typically translate well into the evidence needed for Social Security disability benefits.
Since all of the disabilities factoring into a veteran’s claim may not be service-connected, it isn’t necessarily the case that receiving Social Security disability benefits will raise the odds of a successful claim with the VA. It’s still crucial for the VA to review any existing SSD records as part of its decision process.
Disability compensation is vitally important to the continuing well-being of qualifying veterans. Unfortunately, the process of securing benefits can be extremely frustrating. Schedule a free consultation with a Texas veterans’ disability lawyer today by calling 800-800-6353. Be sure to ask for a free copy of our guide, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.