San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) March 19, 2014
Heard & Smith, a national disability law firm that concentrates on the disabled and the injured, is partially praising the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new initiative to expedite disability claims from veterans who have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T, and can show proof of their “permanent and total” disability rating.
“This initiative is a very small step in the right direction,” commented Heard & Smith’s Jill Mitchell, who leads the firm’s VA Disability Benefits Practice Group and has focused exclusively on veterans’ law cases since 2000. “This helps only a tiny fraction of the veterans who are rated 100% disabled by the VA. It does not help the vast majority of veterans who are considered 100% disabled because they are unemployable, or veterans who hold a non-permanent and non-total 100% rating by virtue of their service-connected disabilities.”
As for next steps, Ms. Mitchell commented that the only fair, sensible and logical thing for the SSA to do would be to open up its plan and expedite processing for all 100%-rated veterans: “When the VA has deemed a veteran 100% disabled, it should be a no-brainer for the SSA to do the same whether that 100% is officially `permanent and total’ or not.”
Ms. Mitchell also pointed out that many veterans are unaware that they can receive VA disability compensation and Social Security disability (SSD) benefits concurrently, and that there is no advantage to delaying one claim in favor of the other: “Contrary to what some veterans have been led to believe, it is not `double-dipping’ to receive both VA disability compensation and SSD benefits at the same time. SSD benefits are based on what the veteran paid into the system, while VA disability benefits are meant to compensate the veteran for any injuries or illnesses related to their time in service. VA-rated SSA claimants should ensure that the SSA is up-to-date on their VA disability rating, and if their SSA-claimed disabilities are all related to service, they should continue filing claims and appeals with the VA to increase their disability ratings.”
Veterans and others who wish to learn more about SSD benefits can visit the Social Security Disability section of Heard & Smith’s website at http://www.heardandsmith.com/ssdi_ssi.html, which contains helpful articles, a glossary of SSD terms, SSD FAQs, links to additional SSD resources and more. Veterans with VA disability benefits appeals questions can go to http://www.heardandsmith.com/VA-disability-benefits.html for more information. Access is free, and no sign-up is required.
For more information, contact Joshua C. Eyestone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-820-3737.
About Heard & Smith L.L.P.
Heard & Smith helps thousands of clients each year get the disability benefits they are entitled to. The national disability law practice group at Heard & Smith represents deserving clients in all 50 states. Heard & Smith specializes in representing the disabled in Social Security Disability (SSD), and Veterans (VA) Disability matters.
Learn more at http://www.heardandsmith.com/