Disability, General

Social Security and Veterans Affairs Partnership Speeds Disability Decisions for Veterans

November 9, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

vaSocial 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/.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Luke E.

    My grandfather is a Veteran and he’s receiving help from the state. Thanks to everyone here, and the support that you give him. Especially at this particular time of the year.

    Credentials + resume online https://hireessaywriter.onl

  2. victor

    I receive my SSDI and i have a 90% rating how fast will SSA take to share there record with VA so I can get unemployabiity with The VA

    • V.V.

      Hi Victor, thanks for using our blog. Please contact the Veterans Administration for questions related to their programs. Thanks!

  3. facoffeeal

    what if we use
    Romin this

  4. Mark K.

    I don’t know if anyone is even moderating this blog anymore. I was denied, and denied to many time and a couple hearings. then not enough credits for ssdi.

    Now 100% P&T from va . SSA screwed me for years while I lived homeless rough life, you think I would not work if I could have/
    Even the VA screwed me for ever. They should have paid me back to the day I got out. Ruined my life. They judge you. I finally got part of my due from the VA but SSA should have to pay me. Do you no how hard it is to appeal to the high court while you are living on the street with debilitating PTSD?

  5. Lonnie S.

    Could someone tell me if Social Security retirement benefit amounts received are the same as Social Security disability? I was told if you were disabled you can draw disability, but not retirement benefits. Does one supersede the other?

    • L.A.

      Hi Lonnie. Thanks for your question. When you reach full retirement age, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, but the benefit amount remains the same. Therefore, you don’t have to do anything. To find out your full retirement age, please visit here. We hope this helps.

      • Michael

        You work for Social Security?
        Answer this.
        The law states ONLY medical evidence is required for a decision.
        P and T, Unemployable.
        My review case worker tried to make a decision without requesting my medical records. VA verified it. She never asked for them.
        You all are evil.

  6. Jerry R.

    I have a 90% VA disability rating. How would this reflect for a SSA rating?

    • L.A.

      Hi Jerry. First of all, thank you for your service to your country. If you are receiving benefits from the VA, please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. You may also want to read about Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors. We hope this helps.

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