Thank you for your service!
A significant portion of our caseload is claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) made by individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces; many of whom are in the medical board process. We have the knowledge and experience required to successfully handle your claim for benefits with the Social Security Administration. There are many factors that affect whether you will qualify for benefits. A free and personal claim evaluation is the only way to fully assess your situation and advise how to proceed.
Can I draw SSDI if I already receive VA benefits?
Yes! During your military service you paid in Social Security taxes which earn you "Quarters of Coverage" to be entitled to SSDI. If you have enough quarters paid in to the program you can draw SSDI regardless of any compensation or pension from the VA or Army.
Does 100% VA disability automatically entitle me to SSDI?
If you have been found 100% disabled by the VA you may likely also qualify for disability benefits from Social Security; however, this entitlement is not automatic or guaranteed. The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration have separate and distinct definitions of disability. The Social Security Administration is not required to reach the same conclusion as was reached by the VA. If SSA was required to find a claimant disabled based solely on the VA's findings, then separate proceedings would not be required; this is not the case. SSA will consider all of the relevant factors in your case to determine if you are "disabled" under their regulations.
However, a rating of 100% by the VA does automatically entitle you to expedited claim processing by SSA. This means your claim will move through the adjudication process much quicker than an individual who is not 100% disabled or active duty.
What about my current earnings?
Under the Social Security Regulations (SSR 84-24) it is understood that "A person in the military service who is being treated for a severe impairment usually continues to receive full pay." Therefore, SSA does not use your earnings solely to determine if you are performing too much work activity. SSA will evaluate the actual work you are performing and compare that to services performed in the civilian workforce to determine the "reasonable worth" of your duties and decide if this exceeds what is allowable under the Social Security regulations. We will discuss in detail your current duties and help you determine if this will affect your SSDI at our initial meeting when we evaluate your claim.
What is my disability onset date?
Onset date of disability is a very complex question that can be affected by many factors. We will examine both the medical and non-medical factors in every case to help you determine when you first became disabled under the Social Security regulations and will build a case theory that proves that onset to SSA.