I have just learned that the Social Security Administration is implementing a change in the way in which Veterans who are 100% Service Connected via the VA apply for Social Security benefits. According to the Social Security website, Veterans who meet these criteria may receive expedited processing of applications. According to Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, in order to receive the expedited service, Veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter.
When the SSA says P&T they mean permanent and total. Not every Veteran who is paid at 100% is considered permanent and total. For instance, a Veteran who is receiving Individual Unemployability is not automatically considered to be permanent and total. Often times with IU, the VA can bring you back in for evaluations and take the benefit away from you if your conditions improve. However, IU can be permanent and total. It will be noted on your decision. If you are considered to be permanent and total, you are not likely subject to further evaluations in the future.
The SSA does not state how much quicker this will speed up a claim. They mention that all claims are different and there are a lot of variables that go into this process, and all Veterans still have to meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the SSA. Also this change will not be immediate. Expect the change to go into effect around the 17th of March.
Is this going to change everything? No. But I am so happy the SSA is making this change. Many Veterans I have personally spoke to have asked why their SSA claims aren’t expedited if they are already 100%. I have never really been able to give them a good answer. I no longer have to say the SSA does not expedite in that situation. I just wish the VA would do something similar if the Veteran is found disabled by the SSA on a service connected condition. Granted, that is just my opinion.
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