How Does a 100% Permanent and Total Disability Rating from the VA Impact My Social Security Disability Claim?

silhouette of military soldiers walking from left to right
Mar 29, 2021 | Sara Khaki

Many US military veterans return home from active duty service with a debilitating injury or illness. Fortunately, these conditions are recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and often qualify a former servicemember for monthly disability compensation. Regardless of whether you do or don’t qualify for VA benefits based on a service-connected condition, you might still be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your disability, service-related or otherwise, prevents you from working.

However, if you received a disability rating of 100% permanent and total from the VA, it could impact your Social Security disability claim in several ways. First, you could be entitled to substantial benefits through SSDI for the same condition that resulted in your VA benefits. Second, your 100% permanent and total disability rating could also entitle you to an expedited review of your SSDI claim. An experienced disability representative on our team can assist you with pursuing the benefits you need, regardless of whether you became disabled during your active duty service.

Your Disability Could Qualify for SSDI Benefits

If the condition that qualifies a veteran for VA benefits also prevents them maintaining substantially gainful employment, they may be entitled to compensation through the SSDI program. There is a lengthy list of conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits, and they largely overlap with impairments that can qualify for VA disability coverage. These conditions include terminal illnesses, permanent injuries, mental impairments, and more.

While the VA requires a veteran’s disability to have resulted from a service-related event, there is no such requirement for SSDI benefits, meaning a former servicemember may qualify for SSDI but not VA benefits.

The second requirement involves an applicant’s work history. Applicants must have a sufficient number of work credits, which indicate how much full-time work an individual completed before becoming disabled. These requirements are designed to limit SSDI benefits to individuals who paid into Social Security through their payroll taxes.

A 100 Percent Rating Could Expedite your SSDI Claim

While a 100 percent rating from the VA for a service-connected disability does not guarantee a successful SSDI application, it can guarantee a quick resolution of a claim through a “fast-tracking” process. All that is necessary to receive this expedited consideration is to note in the application that you have a 100 percent rating for a disability through the VA. Any other rating will not qualify for fast-tracking. The Social Security Administration gives these fast-tracked claims priority, meaning a decision could come in weeks instead of months.

Ask an Attorney about what a 100% Permanent and Total Disability Rating from the VA Could Mean for a Social Security Disability Claim

A 100 percent permanent and total disability rating from the VA can speed up the SSDI claims process. Unfortunately, it does not guarantee a favorable outcome in your claim. To give yourself the best chance of submitting a successful claim, contact our team immediately.


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