Social Security and Veterans Affairs Partnership Speeds Disability Decisions for Veterans
Last Updated: August 19, 2021
Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey. For the millions of individuals we help each day — including Veterans, widows and widowers, retirees, and people with disabilities — our priority is to help you secure today and tomorrow. In our efforts to improve the quality of service we provide to Veterans, we’re proud to announce our partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to use health IT to help Veterans and their families.
This partnership between Social Security and the VA allows for the expedited processing of disability cases. It enables us to receive medical records electronically from the VA through the eHealth Exchange. This process saves time and money for both partners and allows Social Security to make decisions faster for Veterans and their dependents who apply for Social Security disability benefits.
Medical documentation is essential to making a disability determination. Before using this new capability, we obtained medical records through a manual process. When eligible Veterans apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it might have taken weeks or months for Social Security to receive paper records from the VA. This new partnership lets Social Security obtain the VA Veterans’ health information electronically within minutes. Through this new national initiative, we can obtain Veterans’ medical records electronically without human intervention. It’s easy, convenient and secure, just the way we like it.
Currently, Social Security can receive electronic health records from over 50 other health IT partners and the Department of Defense in about 7,000 facilities across the United States. Our goal is to continue expanding our network of healthcare organizations and federal agencies that provide electronic health records to us within a safe and secure environment so that we can secure today and tomorrow faster for our Veterans.
To learn more about the health IT initiative, please visit our website at https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/hit/.