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The difference in VA Disability and Social Security Disability

A Veteran of the U.S. Military is eligible to receive disability from both the Social Security Administration and the Veteran’s Administration.  However, each program has its own requirements and criteria.  They are vastly different, and approval must be obtained separately.

To qualify for Veterans’ Disability, there must have been an injury or condition that is service related, and can be medically proven as such.  The Veterans’ Administration will assign a percentage rating to a disability claim, which determines how much the Veteran will draw.  While this percentage will be taken into account by an administrative law Judge when making a Social Security Disability decision, it will not be a deciding factor.

The criteria for Social Security Disability are vastly different than those of the Veteran’s Administration.  To qualify for Social Security Disability, a condition must be considered severe by their standards, and expected to last at least one year or to result in death.  There must be substantial medical evidence for these claims.  In addition, the condition must have prevented the person from performing full-time work, known to SSA as substantial gainful activity.  Income for the prior 15 months will be considered, and there are limits as to how much a person is allowed to make and still be eligible for Social Security Disability.

The best call to make in order to clear up any confusion between these two programs is to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.  He or she can help in gathering crucial medical evidence to best support your claim, as well as navigate you through the complex waters of an appeal.

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