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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits at the same time as VA Disability 

Veterans who are receiving disability benefits from the VA because of a service-related injury or illness can still receive Social Security disability benefits if they have a qualifying condition. There are many veterans who think that they must choose between VA disability and Social Security disability but in fact veterans can receive both types of disability benefits at the same time. You won’t lose your VA disability benefits if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits also.

Qualifying For Social Security Disability

The process of qualifying for disability benefits starts with filing a claim for a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work. All of the medical conditions, both physical and mental, that qualify for disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. Included in each listing is a set of requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for benefits because of that condition. You will need to submit substantial medical documentation to prove that you meet those requirements before you can get approved for benefits. Medical documentation usually includes things like a doctor’s diagnosis, blood tests, MRI or PET scans, and a treatment plan or hospital stay documentation.

Many of the common health problems that veterans have can qualify for Social Security disability benefits like:

  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Amputation
  • COPD or lung cancer
  • Various types of cancer
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal problems
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have been rating permanently and totally disabled by the VA your claim for Social Security disability benefits may be expedited by the SSA so that you will receive your benefits faster.

Medical Vocational Allowance

If you have a health problem that makes it impossible to work but your condition isn’t listed in the Blue Book or your symptoms don’t meet the requirements that are listed in the Blue Book for a particular condition you can apply for a Medical Vocational Allowance. To get a Medical Vocational Allowance you will need to submit a completed Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. You can download this form from the SSA and your doctor will fill it out. The SSA will look at the detailed Residual Functional Capacity evaluation to see what your physical limitations are. Then they will look at your work history, your job training, and what you are physically capable of doing. If they determine that there isn’t any kind of full-time work that you can perform with your limitations, then you can be eligible for benefits.

Get A Claim Started Today

There’s no reason not to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits if you’re a veteran who can’t work. You can start the application online at the SSA’s website at any time. When you start the application process, make sure you have your copies of all your VA health records and your current health records.  If you have any questions, the SSA toll free number 1-800-772-1213 can help you file a claim for disability benefits and get the application process started for you.