Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How Veterans and Social Security Disability qualifications differ

Many soldiers spend years serving their county only to come back a mere shell of themselves after fighting on the front lines. If you're a veteran that receives disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), then you probably assume that the Social Security Administration (SSA) would also classify you as disabled. This isn't necessarily the case though. Both federal agencies have distinct guidelines that you must meet to receive disability benefits.

Veterans may qualify to receive benefits for their service-connected disability simply by proving that the onset or exacerbation of their condition corresponds with their military service. The VA generally assesses a veteran's degree of disability and awards benefits on a graduated scale based on how serious of an impairment that they have. Service members are assigned a disability rating from 10 to 100%.

The SSA generally doesn't take into account why a soldier was discharged from the military. The federal agency also doesn't consider whether someone's impairment resulted from their service to their country when deciding whether to award Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to a veteran.

SSA file reviewers will instead want to see evidence that a former soldier's medical condition is terminal or expected to last at least 12 months. It must impact a service member's ability to remain gainfully employed as well.

Both the VA and SSA have different ways of defining impairments. While the VA uses a graduated scale for awarding benefits, the SSA has a set amount that they payout. The VA doesn't require veterans to prove that their disability is lasting. That federal agency doesn't require former soldiers to prove that their condition affects their ability to work either. The SSA does though.

There are certain situations in which veterans qualify to have their applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) expedited. This happens if they're part of the Wounded Warriors program or the 100% Permanent and Total Veterans Initiative.

You have worked hard to honorably serve your country. You deserve to receive the compensation necessary to help cover your medical expenses. This is especially the case if your illness or injuries have rendered you unable to become gainfully employed to take care of your family. An attorney in Mobile can help you justify why you deserve the maximum allowable benefits that you can qualify for here in Alabama.

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