How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can't the Social Security Administration get the veteran's service record to confirm their disability?

Someone wrote recently (and I am paraphrasing) "Can't the social security administration get the veteran's service record to confirm that he was in combat and had injuries? It should be their job to research this and the person should not have to prove they were in combat".

The individual who wrote this, unfortunately, does not have a proper understanding of how the Social Security Disability process works, and especially how very different it is from the way disability benefits are granted by the VA.

First of all, combat has nothing to do with eligibility for social security benefits, nor does military service. And the two systems make claims decisions unlike each other at all.

How are the systems different? Tremendously. The social security system (and this applies to SSI and SSD) does not use partial or percentage disability ratings. When it comes to SSD or SSI, you are either disabled and unable to work at your past employment or at any other form of employment for which you might be thought capable of switching to...or you are not.

It's that simple. For social security, it is all or nothing. And that means that getting disability benefits truly means being disabled in the sense that you cannot work and earn what SSA considers to be a livable wage.

In other words: your ability to work is severely impaired and if you could work a full time job you would not be considered disabled by the social security administration.

VA disability, of course, is very different. You can be rated at percentages. And you can be given 100 percent disability and still be allowed to work. Not so in the social security system.

At the risk of being repetitive: In the social security system, if you can work and earn what is considered a substantial and gainful income, you are not considered disabled. And this would seem logical to most since most people would mentally draw a connection between receiving disability benefits and an inability to work and earn a livable income.

Is the social security system harder than the VA system? Yes, mostly because for SSD and SSI, being disabled and receiving disability benefits means being disabled and not being able to work at a substantial and gainful level; whereas for VA disability there are many individuals who are rated disabled yet still work full time jobs, sometimes making as much as seventy to eighty thousand dollars per year (I know at least two individuals who fit this category).

Will the social security administration ever adopt the VA way of deciding claims? Despite the occasional rhetoric about this, it will never happen. For one thing, it would mean that the social security administration's budget would have to be 50 times larger to accommodate the fact that, in that very hypothetical and unlikely scenario, nearly every single applicant for Social Security Disability would be approved for some percentage of disability benefits. That, of course, would be a far cry from the current environment in which 70 percent of applicants for SSD or SSI are denied on an initial claim and an even higher percentage are denied on their first appeal.

It is understandable that some individuals find the differences between the two disability systems confusing. The most basic thing to keep in mind however is this: to get Social Security Disability or SSI, your condition must be severe enough that you are incapable of working and earning a substantial and gainful income for a period of not less than one full year. In fact, your condition must be this longstanding or be severe enough that it may potentially result in death.

In the social security system, if you apply for disability you will be considered either disabled and unable to work and earn a livable wage, or not. For social security, there are no partials or in-betweens.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

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Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

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More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

Would a person with 100 percent VA disability get Social Security Disability?
Will Being A Veteran Affect Your Eligibility And Chances For Social Security Disability?
Does A Certain Percentage of VA Disability Automatically Make You Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Are you allowed to receive VA benefits and Social Security Disability at the same time?
Tips for Social Security Disability Psychological and mental testing
How Long does a Social Security Disability Determination take After Seeing the Psychologist?
Social Security Disability Mental Psychological Exam and Questions that get Asked
Does social security deny strong disability claims?
Social Security Disability is different from VA disability
Why are you denied the first time you are denied for disability?
What Happens To Social Security Disability Benefits After Divorce?
Can I do What I want with my Social Security Back Pay?
How much information should you put on a disability application?
What disability claimants get angry about - Part I
Social Security and not getting the medical records
Social Security Disability will sometimes order X-rays but never an MRI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida