There is often a lot of confusion when it comes to the similarities and differences between a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim and that of the veteran disability program. The VA disability program is designed to assist veterans that have been injured while on duty. Many that lack the proper information often assume that these two programs are similar because someone eligible for assistance under the VA Disability program may also receive benefits from social security disability. However, there are many differences between these two programs. Letting a skilled South Carolina veteran’s disability attorney look at the specifics of your case can help you determine the best decision for your interests.
There are different funding sources for Social Security Disability and that of VA benefits. Social Security Disability is basically an insurance program that is created to give a portion of your earnings back to insured workers who are unable to continue to perform work at a level that is substantial and gainful. The monetary funds used to pay Social Security Disability claims comes from the worker’s paid taxes under the Self-Employment Contributions Act and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. VA Disability, however, is not considered to be insurance. VA disability is purely a compensation program that awards benefits to our country’s veterans who have endured an injury while in the military. Veteran disability is funded by a particular budget for the Veterans Administration rather than the taxes paid by military workers.
The Social Security Disability system operates on a whole pie or no pie at all status. In other words, for you to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must prove without a doubt that you are unable to work a day to day job to the degree where you can earn a liveable wage. Those who are unable to prove that their disability keeps them from their ability to work will receive nothing. Those who are able to prove that their disability does in fact keep them from working at a liveable wage will more than likely receive disability benefits. In regards to VA disability, there are percentages of disability and what amount of benefits one can receive. For example, it is possible to claim forty percent of the available benefits. Under VA Disability you are allowed to earn as much as your disability allows you to be capable of. Whereas those just filing for disability are only allowed to earn up to a certain amount a month through non physically demanding labor. The reason for this difference is because Social Security Disability is considered an entitlement, while VA Disability is seen as an obligation that our nation owes to our veterans.
What is the South Carolina Social Security Disability Process?
If you are filing a claim through the VA disability system, obtaining benefits may not take as long as the process of claiming Social Security Disability (SSD). Those seeking SSD benefits may end up going through several steps, which can take up to two full years to complete. The first claim must be filed and usually only has a thirty percent acceptance rate, the other seventy percent end up in denials. The seventy percent that are denied will usually seek to make another claim or take the process one step further to the reconsideration step. If this appeal known as the reconsideration step fails, then one can continue forward and ask for a hearing. This will involve a day in court, where an Administrative Law Judge will take all the evidence presented and then make a decision. In the case that this step of the process fails, the next step to take is to submit your case to the Appeals Council. Finally, if the Appeals Council once again is a failed step, you can lastly appeal to the Federal District Court. As you can see, this whole appeals process can become quite lengthy by the final result.
What is the South Carolina Veteran Disability Process?
On an easier note, the VA Disability process only has two steps. The first step is for the eligible person to prove that he or she was a military veteran who did not leave due to a dishonorable discharge. The second step will be proving that the injuries that were sustained were an actual result from that person’s military service. Usually in VA Disability cases where the injury sustained cannot be conclusively attributed to the person’s military duty, the benefit of the doubt is given. Veteran Disability claims have a policy commonly known as “presumptive conditions” which makes it common knowledge that certain illnesses are related to military duty. As an example, Vietnam veterans who were plagued by exposure to Agent Orange, who have mysterious illnesses are all entitled to VA disability. The same goes for veterans who are diagnosed with chronic illnesses less than a year after their discharges. Once it is decided that an illness has resulted from one’s military duty, the degree to how much it affects the veteran is calculated and in turn the compensation is decided for that veteran.
The Social Security Disability Program is a lot larger than that of the VA Disability program. By the end of 2009, there were around 7.7 million people receiving Social Security Disability benefits. The VA disability program had 3.1 million eligible applicants at the end of that same year. The monthly average payment for those receiving VA Disability is over double what those on Social Security Disability are given. Veterans are allowed to apply for Social Security benefits too if they choose to. here are many veterans that receive payment from both programs. One can not be penalized in any way for receiving payments from both programs.
Consult with a South Carolina Disability Attorney Today
As one can tell, there are many ins and outs to understanding Social Security Disability and VA Disability. Many applications are denied upon completion, so it is in your best interests to seek legal counsel from a skilled South Carolina disability attorney. Robert Surface has years of experience working with veterans to help them gain the benefits they deserve. If your claim has been denied or you are looking to begin the process of filing a claim, please contact the Greenville office of Robert Surface. His legal team is awaiting your call, and they are ready to help you throughout this complex process.