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Disability and the VA

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on June 15, 2015 | In Social Security Disability

Disability and the VA

If you are a veteran who has a disability that prevents you from working, you may be able to pursue Social Security disability benefits as well as veteran disability benefits. These two systems, however, are different. For example, individuals pursuing Social Security benefits will receive 100 percent of their benefits or nothing. Veterans within the VA system can receive a percentage of benefits depending on the severity of their impairments. This is just one of many complicated differences between the two systems.

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you must apply online or at a Social Security office. You will then receive an initial decision within three to four months. Your case will then go to a disability examiner who will gather and review your medical records to determine if your claim will be approved or denied. If approved, you will be considered 100 percent disabled and you will be paid Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on your past work history or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if you have not worked enough years to qualify for SSDI.

In many cases, however, this initial review results in a denial of benefits. Then, you will have to appeal that decision. You may have to wait a long time to receive a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

When applying for benefits through the VA system, the decision will not result in an all or nothing decision. Instead, the VA may decide that you are partially disabled. Veterans are able to receive as little as 10 percent and as much as 100 percent of their disability benefits depending upon their condition.

There is another complication to consider when applying for disability benefits as a veteran. If the medical treatment you have received was in a VA medical center, the Social Security disability examiner may have difficulty obtain your medical records. The VA does not always provide medical records to the SSA. This is just one of many reasons why you may need legal guidance throughout the process.

A skilled Los Angeles veterans disability attorney can help you determine what types of benefits are available. Your attorney can also help you build your case and receive an approval in a timely manner.

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