As previously announced, the Social Security Administration (SSA) launched their initiative to expedite the processing of Social Security Disability claims for veterans who have been issued a 100% disability rating by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). SSA released instructions to its employees for processing these claims on March 17, 2014, the day before acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin issued a press release touting the initiative as “another milestone for those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
Per the instructions, Social Security Disability applicants who provide SSA with proof that they have been issued a 100% permanent and total disability compensation from the VA will be provided with expedited claim processing through all levels of development, adjudication, and appeal. The instructions indicate that a new flagging process has been added to their claim handling system to ensure the claim gets priority processing. The VA rating does not guarantee an award of benefits, however, as a disability examiner will still need to determine whether the veteran also meets Social Security’s strict standards of disability, but a 100% disability rating from the VA will move the application to the forefront for a quick decision.