Do 100% P&T vets automatically get SSD?

Written by TC Newlin

TC is a disability litigator and one of the managing partners in the Social Security Disability Department at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. He has had the pleasure of helping thousands of people obtain the benefits they so desperately need.

August 25, 2021

No, not automatically.  Both Social Security and VA pay disability benefits.  Although they are both federal programs, they are very different in terms of their process and criteria for receiving benefits.  

The criteria for disability under SSD require you to be unable to do substantial gainful activity (SGA) and your condition(s) must have lasted or be expected to last 12 consecutive months or result in death.  Basically, it requires the applicant to be permanently and totally disabled.  VA benefits have no impact on SSD payments.  

VA Disability Requirements 

The criteria for disability under the VA require that the ailment occurred during active military duty.  Once that is determined, the VA assigns a disability rating, which is measured in 10% increments starting at 10% and ending at 100%, which is total disability.  Many partial disability ratings can be added together to make 100%.

A VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits.  In fact, as of March 27, 2017, Social Security does not even have to take into account a VA disability determination.  Although, I do think, in actual practice, an ALJ does consider it.  In fact, I ask my clients to send me their full VA decision so that I can ensure it makes its way into the SSD file for an ALJ to review.  I think a decision of 100% P&T disability by a peer would at least be persuasive in a SSD determination, but again, a SSD ALJ is not required to give that VA ALJs opinion any weight.  Two different individuals can and sometimes do look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions.  

P&T Disabled Vets Receive SSD 

Although 100% P&T disabled vets do not automatically get SSD, in my experience, they usually do end up being found disabled under SSD.  

Expedited processing for SSD Benefits

100% P&T disabled vets do receive expedited processing for SSD benefits.  After applying for benefits, SSA is supposed to automatically identify veterans that meet the VA 100% P&T compensation rating.  This does not; however, always happen.  You or your attorney should notify SSA by sending in your VA notification letter or like I do, send in the full decision.  The expedited processing significantly cuts down on the time it takes for the file to work its way through the disability process.  

Receiving Medicare Coverage upon Approval

If you are approved for SSD benefits, you will receive Medicare coverage automatically after you have been on disability for 24 months.  

 

Do I Qualify for SSD Benefits?

Browse our SSDI resource library to find clear answers and determine if you qualify for up to $3,148/month in SSD benefits.

Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Browse our SSDI resource library to find clear answers and determine if you qualify for up to $3,148/month in SSD benefits.

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