Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly known as PTSD, can severely affect military veterans upon return to civilian life. Symptoms can become severe, to the point of hindering a person from being able to function normally in society or hold down a full-time job. Therefore, Social Security Disability benefits are available to Veterans in addition to any Veterans' disability already paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The qualifying criteria for Social Security Disability differs from the qualifying criteria for disability from Veterans' Affairs. These benefits are paid from two separate programs and departments, each with its own set of rules and standards which must be met. To qualify for Social Security disability, a Veteran must have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year or to result in death. In addition, the impairment must also prevent the person from working full-time performing substantial gainful activity. In 2018, a person may not receive more than $1,080 per month in income from employment.
While a Veteran's Affairs disability rating will be taken into consideration for a Social Security decision, it does not insure approval. A person may be considered 100% disabled by the VA, but still receive a denial from SSD. However, a Veteran may notify the Social Security Administration upon application for disability benefits of a 100% VA rating, and the SSA will expedite the claim.
An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can provide further insight into the ways in which Social Security Disability and Veterans' Affairs disability differ. In particular, he or she can determine if there is enough medical evidence to meet or equal a listing for PTSD.