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How Are Social Security Disability and VA Disability Different?

Many times throughout my week, I will get phone calls from someone applying for Social Security disability benefits asking why Social Security does not consider them disabled when he/she is considered disabled through the Veterans Administration. One would think that the programs have the same rules for deciding if you are disabled, however, they do not.

Social Security disability determinations cannot be based upon whether or not a person receives VA disability because the rules for disability approval are so vastly different for the VA and Social Security systems. Not only are the two programs completely separate and different, but the basis for being awarded disability with Social Security is also that you are disabled and unable to work at any job.

Social Security disability is a “total” disability program, not a percentage disability program. For Social Security purposes, an individual must be completely incapable of working and the condition must last or be expected to last at least 12 months.

Conversely, VA disability is based upon service-related injuries or conditions that may or may not cause an individual to be “totally” disabled. Veterans receive a disability benefit monthly amount based upon their percentage of disability rating, and they receive this monthly benefit whether they are working or not. In fact, there are many veterans receiving disability benefits from the VA that are working full-time jobs. Individuals who are working full-time jobs could never be approved for Social Security disability under their rules.

I know that this doesn’t seem to make sense, however, there is no percentage of VA disability that will automatically make an individual eligible for Social Security disability benefits or the other way around. Veterans have to go through the same medical process as all other citizens, and if they meet all the requirements of Social Security disability, they will be entitled to receive a disability benefit. To learn more about the VA disability process, click here.

This process can be quite confusing, and that is why so many people turn to the experienced attorneys and staff at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. Give us a call today for a free phone consultation at 877.526.3457. We can assist you with both your Social Security Claims and your VA Disability claims. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond to you shortly.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

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