Getting Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration, 621,000 veterans received Social Security benefits last year. The VA alone pays benefits to over 4.8 million recipients. As you can see, many more veterans are receiving VA Disability benefits than Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration’s rules and regulations are not as favorable to the claimant as the Veteran Benefit Administration’s rules and regulations. Our lawyers have found that veterans are more likely to be approved for their VA Disability benefits than their Social Security Disability benefits. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to receive both benefits if you can’t work from your disabilities.
Differences Between Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability Benefits
The Veterans Benefits Administration and the Social Security Administration are unique because they:
- Have Different Regulations: Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits claims are not decided by the same government bureaucracy. Your Individual Unemployability claim will be decided by the VA, while your Social Security Disability claim will be decided by the Social Security Administration. They both have their own laws, regulations, and operate very differently.
- Have Different Eligibility Guidelines: Because Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits are from different bureaucracies, they have different eligibility guidelines. Some veterans will be approved for one benefit and denied the other. Just because you are eligible for one, doesn’t mean you are eligible for the other benefit.
- Process Claims Differently: Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits are not processed in the same manner. The VA and the SSA processes claims very differently. Learning two different legal systems is often difficult for veterans dealing with mental and physical conditions.
- Consider Different Evidence: Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits will analyze different evidence. For example, self-medication through drug use can hurt your SSD claim. While self-medication through drug use can help prove a PTSD Individual Unemployability benefit claim.
- Look At Conditions Differently: Both the VA and SSA will look at conditions differently. For example, take diabetes. If you are a Vietnam vet who can’t work from diabetes and related diseases, you may be eligible for Agent Orange Individual Unemployability benefits. At the same time, the SSA may deny your disability claim for diabetes. Veterans who can service-connect their disabilities are much more likely to obtain benefits. However, at the same time the SSA may find your diabetes not severe enough for benefits.
- Have Different Wait Times: Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits have very different wait times. The SSA generally processes claims much faster. While the VA processes claims very slow – check out the Veterans Disability Benefits timeline here.
- Pay Different Amounts: Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits do not pay the same. They do not always receive the same COLA increases, nor pay the same for dependents, and they don’t have the same formulas for calculating back pay.
Steps to Obtaining Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability
- Gather Your Medical Documentation: You are going to want to present evidence that you are eligible to receive Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits. The way to make your case is to present convincing medical evidence of your physical and mental conditions. Before applying, see what medical evidence you can submit and include what you can with your application.
- Consider Using Experts: Our lawyers can’t stress how important expert reports can be to your claim. Woods & Woods often uses the reports of medical professionals such as doctors, psychologists, and vocational experts. Reports from medical professionals carry lots of weight when you are applying for Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits.
- Send Your VA Application to the VA: You will need to send your application for Individual Unemployability benefits to the Veterans Administration. Only the VA can process your Individual Unemployability benefits application. If you are not sure where to send your application, give us a call. We can help you determine where to send your Individual Unemployability application.
- Send Your Social Security Application to the SSA: Likewise, send your Social Security Disability benefits application to the Social Security Administration. The VA will not process your Social Security Disability application.
- Appeal Denials and Low-Ratings: If your Individual Unemployability or Social Security Disability benefits application is denied, you can appeal. Remember, denials are not the end of your claim. Once you receive a denial or low-rating, make sure you begin your appeal right away. The longer you wait to appeal, the longer you will wait to get your claim on a court docket. Veterans only have a limited amount of time to file an Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability appeal.
FAQ: VA Unemployability and Social Security Benefits For Disabled Veterans
What if I was denied benefits? If you are denied VA Unemployability and Social Security benefits you can appeal. It is best to start both your VA Unemployability and Social Security benefits appeal right away. You don’t want to let your appeal period collapse.
What if I win one claim and lose the other? Remember, a denial on one claim doesn’t mean you will be denied on the other claim. You can receive VA Unemployability benefits and be denied Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits for disabled veterans have different regulations than VA Unemployability benefits.
Can a 100% disabled veteran receive Social Security Disability? Yes. Veterans that receive a 100% VA Disability rating are eligible for Social Security Disability. There is a common misconception that veterans with a 100% rating are not eligible – that is not true, they can receive both benefits.
Do VA benefits affect Social Security Disability? No. Your Social Security Disability eligibility will not be affected if you receive VA benefits. For Social Security Disability purposes, the income from your VA Unemployability will not affect your eligibility.
Can veterans get Social Security work credits for military service? Yes. The amount of Social Security work credits you’ll receive depends upon the time period you served and for how long you served. To be eligible, you must also have served after 1957. Not all veterans receive work credits for military service.
Will I get special extra earnings credits for military service? Veterans that served from 1957-2001 are eligible. Veterans that served after 2001 may not receive special extra earnings credits. Special extra earnings credits are only granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training.
Our Lawyers Can Help You Get Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability
Free Legal Consultation: If you have questions about your Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits, give us a call. There’s never a charge to discuss your claims with our law firm. Ask all the questions you have.
Get Help With Your Individual Unemployability Benefits: The Individual Unemployability lawyers at Woods & Woods have represented vets in thousands of IU claims. Our Individual Unemployability benefits denial lawyers never charge a penny unless you win your claim.
Get Help With Your SSD Benefits: When you call Woods & Woods, you’ll get an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. Have you been denied? It’s time to talk to a Social Security Disability denial lawyer.
You Only Pay If You Win Your Appeal: Woods & Woods will only charge a fee if your appeal is successful. If your appeal is not successful, you don’t owe us a penny.