The Veterans Administration (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are jointly launching a new effort to expedite disability claims by veterans with a VA disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total (P&T). Historically, it has been problematic for these agencies to communicate effectively and to agree that a finding of disability by one agency should be accepted by the other.
The new initiative, announced in February by Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin, compels the SSA to assign these disabled veterans’ applications a high priority and to render expedited decisions regarding benefits. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and it is only right that we ensure they have timely access to the disability benefits they may be eligible for and deserve,” Colvin said in a February 19 press release.
To receive expedited processing, veterans must have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T and demonstrate that disability rating with their VA Notification Letter. The VA’s disability rating merely accelerates Social Security disability claims processing; it is not a guarantee that Social Security disability benefits will be granted. The veterans must still meet all additional qualifications for receiving Social Security disability benefits, so veterans who apply should seek counsel from an experienced Social Security disability attorney. The VA and SSA plan to initiate the new procedure this March.
Working alongside a good disability lawyer substantially increases the likelihood that you will acquire the benefits you need and deserve. An experienced disability attorney can review all the pertinent documents and help you avoid the common mistakes that result in rejections of benefit claims. Most people seeking benefits have limited savings and resources, so if you are applying to receive disability benefits, if you are not sure if you qualify, or if you are unsure which benefits program is appropriate for you, speak as quickly as possible to an experienced disability attorney to obtain the help and legal advice you need.