Can veterans be approved for VA disability but denied Social Security benefits?

Yes. Your veterans’ disability compensation is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), while Social Security disability is paid through the Social Security Administration (SSA). These two separate entities have different qualifications on what it means to be disabled, so you may qualify for one and not the other—or you may qualify for both—depending on your circumstances.

Although collecting VA disability does not automatically guarantee that you will be approved for Social Security disability benefits, it does help your case. Social Security regulations specifically state that they are not bound by disability decisions made by other governmental agencies. Recent regulations concerning the evaluation of medical opinions have discounted the weight given to VA rating decisions. However the following things are helpful. For instance, you will likely be found disabled by SSA if you:

  • Your rated conditions would  prevent you from doing all types of civilian work;
  • You are currently being treated for your conditions;
  • You are rated 100% permanent and total or receive Individual Unemployability payments from the VA.

If you were approved for VA benefits but denied Social Security, you may wish to have an attorney examine your case. The SSA may not have been given an accurate picture of your condition due to missing vital medical evidence, resulting in a denial that you do not deserve. Email us today at [email protected], or fill out the quick contact form on this page to find out what you could be owed.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska