The Wounded Warrior project has been working with Social Security. As of 2014, Social Security enacted a great new rule. If you were in the military after October 1, 2001, and you have 100% VA disability benefits, Social Security will expedite your case and approve you quickly. You can find out more information here.
If you left the military before October 2001, never fear, you're still in good shape. If you have a 100% VA disability rating, in most states (including Arizona), the courts have found that Social Security is supposed to give that rating "great weight". Because both Social Security and the VA are federal programs, Social Security is supposed give deference to the VA determination unless they see a good reason not to (like fraud). This means that if you have a 100% VA rating and you're applying for disability, send in the award letter to Social Security! And make sure you tell them! Don't forget to tell your attorney!
Even if you have less than a 100% rating, you still should submit the information. A 70% rating is still complete disability according to the VA and you can make the argument that Social Security should see it that way as well. A lesser rating may still be helpful since you probably have medical conditions that weren't related to your military service. Plus you can ask for your rating to be reviewed every year so it might get higher.
Veterans also have wonderful medical records. While other cases have records spread out across hospitals and doctors, veterans have their records all in one place. We can also go back very far for records so if we have to prove disability far in the past there are records to support it. Most doctors offices get rid of their records after seven years.
The VA provides support for veterans that most people applying for disability cannot access. Veterans have access to healthcare, housing, support groups, special mortgage rates, and social workers that the rest of do not have. If you are a veteran, see what the VA can do for you while you are applying for disability benefits.
If you have any questions, please contact The Foster Law Firm at (480)621-7231.