Disability, General

Social Security and the VA, Working Together for Our Heroes

March 7, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

silhouette of a soldier standing in front of the american flag and saluting,  Social Security honors those who have served in the U.S. military. We recognize the sacrifices these Americans made while serving our country. Often, their dedication comes at the expense of significant and lasting effects on themselves and their families.

Social Security provides expedited processing of disability benefit applications for wounded warriors and veterans with a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T).

While both Social Security and the VA pay disability benefits to qualifying individuals, the criteria for awarding benefits is not the same. Even if you have a VA compensation rating of 100% P&T, you will need to meet the strict definition of disability set out by the Social Security Act to receive Social Security disability benefits. Social Security pays benefits to people with a severe medical condition expected to last at least one year or to result in death, while preventing you from performing substantial work.

To receive expedited processing as a veteran rated 100% P&T, you must first apply for Social Security benefits. You can apply online or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit your local Social Security office to apply in person.

You must identify yourself as a “Veteran rated 100% P&T.” If you apply in person or over the phone, tell the Social Security representative that you are a veteran rated 100% P&T. If you apply online, enter “Veteran 100% P&T” in the “Remarks” section of the application. You must also provide Social Security with your Veterans Affairs notification letter that verifies your rating.

Social Security will expedite your claim through the application process, and any appeals level, if necessary. Veterans Affairs compensation will not affect your Social Security benefits.

We are grateful to our veterans for their dedication to this country, and we are committed to providing veterans and wounded warriors with high quality public service. For more information, please visit https://www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans/

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Jagadeesh P.

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  3. Donna

    my ex husband is deceased how can i apply from his benefits

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Donna. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who died and you are not married, you could get benefits just the same as a widow or widower. For more information, please visit our Surviving Divorced Spouse webpage.

  4. Phil A.

    I am a 100% SC T & P Disabled combat Veteran and recently lost my benefits due to mailing issues. After that was resolved, I was scheduled for a review and given an appt that required me to drive from California to Idaho to attend. The SSA didn’t attempt to use my Va records which are available and more than adequately document my continued disabilities. Also when I discussed that I was a 100% sc vet, I was told by the operator on the phone ” oh you’re one of those people ” to which I replied what did that mean and she began berating me for being a Veteran. It finally took 3 months to get my benefits back and caused me to lose my specially adapted home. Why couldn’t ssa use my VA medical data and my award letter which specifically addresses those issues.?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Phil. First, thank you for your service to our country. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  5. Daniel W.

    What a crock… I’m 100% P&T for PTSD and another 60% for physical problems after retiring after OIF in 2003. I applied and was denied SSDI all the way too the ALJ because they said I could fold clothes in a quiet room in the back of a laundromat. I see nothing in the SSA that supports veterans. Time to bite the bullet and end the hell I live in.. Sorry bastards..

  6. Greg R.

    I have been a practicing attorney in this area for almost 30 years. So I certainly am familiar with all the regulations, including recent 2017 changes in the law, with regards to how SSA views VA disability decisions. Yet, it seems that the ALJ’s have become so biased against veteran’s with high ptsd ratings, that I now view it as a detriment rather than an asset to the claim. Can you imagine how it looks to veterans to hear all the fluff about how much SSA cares about veteran’s, and processing their claims faster etc etc, only to have the ALJ completely disregard the VA findings? It would be best if you either stop talking about how much you care about veterans or tell the truth when you do. I’m sure this comment will not get selected for publishing, but perhaps you can pass it on to someone in charge.

    • Ams

      As a 100% p&t veteran who is experiencing their treatment of veterans, I really appreciate your comments. People with the process have made it clear that they hold contempt for the va and the opm. My most recent decision was pages of the judge finding fault with my treatment notes. They also seem to punish for working well past your disabilities and not having the leave time to get treatment. Dealing with this has been unbelievable.

  7. Michael

    Does 50% VA rating get expedited processing as well?

  8. Anthony h.

    I’ve received my social security disability and Medicare and I’m 90% va disability. 2 yeas now on social security and no decisions from va on 100%.

  9. Junior L.

    my father Junior Lee Talley served in the Korean war as a sergeant. He was a heroe even though he was very humble and never thought of his self as such because his whole platoon accept him and one other soldier died in combat. Shortly before he died he was deemed 100% service connected . My dad had rheumatory arthritis and I have inherited my dads ailment leaveing me disabled. I Am 61 year old woman barely getting by. I receive 592.00 a month to live on. My mother had mentle issues and left 100% of there assetts to my two brothers and nothing for me because he died before her. I have struggled with this emotionally and physically. My family have disowned me because they can not look me in the eye. They pretend I have deserved this treatment. My brothers are both very wealthy now. My dad had a stroke several years before he died. ,He knew what they were going to do so he went to a V.A nurseing home to die and he did. Is there any way I could get help from the V.A.
    My father has a broze stare medel for what he did for our country. My mother did not even request the 21 gun sulute at his funeral.

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