Although unfortunate, it is a fact that many former military members from Alabama, and also the other parts of the country, suffered a disabling injury or illness while they were on active duty. Among those veterans, there are many whose total disability rating has been determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs as 100 percent permanent and total. Fortunately, veterans rated "100% P&T" by the VA are eligible for certain additional benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
These benefits are based on the Social Security Administration's guidelines and a veteran can obtain these benefits by filing a separate application with the SSA. It is important to remember that a 100 percent compensation rating awarded by the VA does not assure eligibility for SSD benefits. Rather, the SSA decides the eligibility by determining whether the disability has lasted for one year and is likely to continue for at least another year and whether that disability prevents the veteran from working.
In order to apply for SSD benefits, the veteran needs to submit documentation endorsed by the VA in which it is clearly mentioned that the VA has determined that the veteran has 100 percent permanent and total disability. Upon filing of the application, three major factors play a role in whether the SSA will approve the claim or not. Those three factors are the nature of the disability, how quickly the SSA is able to obtain the necessary medical evidence and whether further medical examinations are required.
People who have come into contact with the SSA may agree that, despite the clearly laid-out claim process, obtaining SSD benefits is often a challenge. While sometimes it is due to a lapse on the part of the claimant during the application stage, at other times it is due to the SSA's various underlying rules and regulations that need to be followed. Considering these factors, it may be a wise decision for a veteran, or that veteran's representative, to engage the services of an experienced Social Security attorney.