The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a new initiative to expedite the processing of disability claims for veterans with a 100% disability rating issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). To meet the criteria for expediting benefits, a veteran must provide proof to SSA that the VA has determined that they have a disability compensation rating of “100% Permanent & Total” by providing a copy of their VA Notification Letter. Ideally, this would be provided with the application for disability benefits in order to experience truly expedited handling. The VA rating does not guaruntee 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.
This is the latest effort by SSA to hasten the application process for those who most clearly meet the criteria to receive disability benefits. Expedited handling for veterans claims will begin in mid-March. Disability applications are now expedited for those with terminal illnesses, those with medical conditions categorized as compassionate allowances, service members wounded in combat, and those experiencing dire financial hardship. If you believe you may meet the criteria for expedited claim handling, contact The Advocator Group at (877) 261-1947.