Applying for Disability Benefits as a Veteran
If you are a veteran and, due to an injury or illness, are unable to work either at all or full-time, both the Veterans Administration (VA) and Social Security Administration (SSA) may be able to help you through monthly benefits payments. For many, the application and appeals process is lengthy and complex, which is why many applicants choose to work with a Veteran’s Disability lawyer through the process. If you have questions about the process or need help preparing for an appeal, we encourage you to contact one of the competent and experienced Veteran’s Disability lawyers of Pashler & Deveraux today.
The Application Process
Your lawyer will begin by explaining that you may be eligible for benefits from both the SSA and the VA, depending upon your situation. In order to obtain benefits from the SSA, you must be able to show, through credible medical evidence, that you are suffering from a medically determinable (recognized) condition that is likely to result in death or is expected to last longer than 12 months.
In order for you to apply to the VA for benefits, your medical evidence and/or military records must reflect that you suffered from an injury or illness while on active duty or in training. While the SSA places great weight and deference upon the opinion of your treating physician, the VA reviews an applicant’s file as a whole and does not consider any one piece of evidence as more important than another. Your lawyer can help you better understand this process and recommend whether you should apply for both VA and SSA disability benefits.
The Amount of Benefits to Expect
The SSA and VA use different formulas and guidelines when determining a benefits amount. Under the SSA’s rules, an applicant can expect to either receive benefits or not – there is no middle ground. Under the VA’s rules, an applicant is adjudged as either 10, 40 or 100 percent disabled and will receive a monthly benefits amount in accordance with this finding.