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I am now 100% P&T, what do I need to know to apply for Social Security Disability?


traveler

Question

I have recently been raised up to 100% P & T for VA disability.

How do I find out about applying for Social Security?

Is there any source where I can learn about it, from being in my situation?

I don't know ANYTHING about it.  Please help!

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3 hours ago, traveler said:

How do I find out about applying for Social Security?

Is there any source where I can learn about it, from being in my situation?

I don't know ANYTHING about it.  Please help!

First of all, VA and SSA are two separate entities and each have different parameters for disability benefits.  You have 100%P&T but you can still work with a 100%P&T status (unless you were TDIU before). My point is that VA calls you 100%P&T but that doesn't automatically sway the Social Security Administration.  With SSA, you're either too disabled to work or you're not (it's black and white with no gray in between, unless advanced age is calculated in).  Just keep that in mind. I have links below for the age factor.

Anyway...

I first applied in 2007 but didn't have enough medical records and so I was denied (I wasn't service connected for vets disability at the time).

I applied again in 2012, and again I had few medical records, and so I was denied (I wasn't service connected for vets disability at the time).

I applied in 2015, had the medical records, and was denied (I wasn't service connected for vets disability at the time). I attribute the 2015 denial to something that SSA does because I did not have any of the conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list (see link below).  However, a social security attorney will usually not see you for the first consult until you have been denied. I had already been in touch with a social security disability lawyer, and she said to come back once I have the denial letter.  I got the denial letter, and I had the first consult with my SS disability attorney.  She looked over my medical records and despite having a medical basis for disability she noted that I had little documented work difficulties. Meaning that for every job I could not do, and for every job I left, I had little documentation as to why I left and/or little documentation of how my disabilities interfere with work (no sick leave, or on the job injuries, no FMLA and no medical transfers and no doctor supported medical resignations, etc).  She told me, "we can go the short route and try for disability, in which case we have a strong chance of denial. Or, we can go the long route by building up documentation of work related difficulties, in which case she could guaranty a win in about 3 years. I chose the long route.  Desperate, I applied at Burger King and within 2 days I had a medical absence signed by my doctor, and within weeks a statement saying that I could not work in the foreseeable future, and so I medically resigned from Burger King. I needed more documentation. I chose to seek employment at my local VA Medical Center (VAMC), and because I had a Schedule A certification from my local state's vocational rehabilitation office (which adds 5 preference points to my eligibility) I was hired to work part-time in the Food Service department of the VAMC. I worked 4 months and switched to full time in the Food Service department and within 1.5 months I was in the emergency room with back strain. The documentation grew into sick leave, paid leave, unpaid leave, FMLA, and then a medical transfer to a sedentary position.  Once in the sedentary position I continued to experience back problems and had frequent doctors' appointments and my major depressive disorder really impacted the sedentary position, and so once again the documentation grew into sick leave, paid leave, unpaid leave, FMLA, and then a medical resignation.  By this time, because of the timing of things, I had already been granted 80% service connected vets disability and so the income from work at the VAMC wasn't crucial to me.

I returned to the social security attorney with everything I had, including repeated attempts at retraining over the past 20 years, and we requested a hearing before a social security administrative law judge. I won. It took me about 3 years.

So that's my story. Meanwhile, you can look through some of the links below. Good luck.

 

Since you have good medical records it is easier to apply. However, keep in mind that you will likely be denied the first time you apply unless you have an illness that automatically grants SSDI. These are called Compassionate Allowances Conditions, found here:

https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm

Benefit eligibility screening tool:

https://ssabest.benefits.gov/benefit-finder/

The other thing to consider are work credits and the timeframes which you must protect, otherwise you can lose them and your SSDI eligibility. You can call SSA to find out about your work credits. Or, online with a registered SSA account to get your work history to calculate from.

My attorney required me to get my work history from SSA so that she could see that I qualify based on work credits. Here's a quick table of required work credits per age of applicant.

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/credits.html

Here's an SSA overview:

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/qualify.html

Social Security disability factors in age, called the Grid Rules and it becomes easier to get SSDI. 

https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/topics/disability-grid-rules-age

 

Edited by Rivet62
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Read the above, then apply.   With social security, in my home town, they will have an employee help you..  

Go to social security, tell em you want to apply and ask for a list of necessary documentation.  Make an appointment, bring the applicable documents, and they will help you apply.  

You should have an answer in 60 to 90 days, then, an attorney may help you with an appeal.  That is what I did.  I won upon appeal.  

Social security should be easier than VA.  Why?   Because you have to prove your injury/illness was related to military service, where social security doesnt care how you got your injuries/illness.  

Show social security your letter being granted 100 percent, and it will likely expedite your social security disability claim.  

Edited by broncovet
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Due to the covid pandemic

SSA OFFICE REQUIRES YOU TO CALL  THE SSA # NEAR YOU AND REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT.THEY WILL OR SHOULD GIVE YOU A CALL AND SET UP YOUR APPOINTMENT  BUT DON'T EXPECT THEM TO CALL YOU FOR A WHILE.

 I BEEN WAITING ON MY APPOINTMENT NOW FOR 3 MONTHS, ALTHOUGH I CALLED THEM AGAIN AND THE LADY CHECKED AND SEEN WHERE I HAD CALLED FOR THE APPOINTMENT AND SHE CALLED ANOTHER SSAOFFICE IN ANOTHER SMALLER  TOWN ABOUT 30 MILES FROM ME AND THEY WILL CALL ME TO COME IN,  THEY ARE ABOUT A 3 MONTH WAIT LIST..I AM STILL WAITING FOR MY APPOINMENT  BUT THE FIRST TIME YOU CALLED   THEY HAVE THAT IN THE COMPUTER AND IF YOUR APPROVED FOR WHAT YOUR ASKING FOR  THEY WILL GO BY THE DATE IN THE COMPUTER THAT YOU FIRST CALLED  FOR EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR BENEFITS.

ANYWAY THIS IS THE WAY IT IS IN TEXAS  IT MAYBE A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN YOUR TOWN  DEPENDS ON HOW BOOKED UP THEY ARE.  THIS COVVID19 HAS EVERYTHING SCREWED UP.

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Like Tbird and Buck said, and thanks for correcting me and updating.  I got my "check list" at the social security office, but Im sure its widely available online too, to save you a trip.  

Lots of people do stuff online..my self included.  But, I prefer to go to the social security office and talk to a person, rather than trying to guess stuff online...My experience was the social security disability clerk was helpful.  Im not saying all this could not be done online, but I can also see the advantage of a personal interview, "to include" a follow up visit, if necessary, and ask the person again (you may get someone else) "What do I need to make this happen?"  Many will tell you and you can benefit from their years of experience with SSD claims.  A little kindness goes a long way.  

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I started my application online in June of last year.  They give you 6 months to complete and submit your application, to save the date.  I forwarded my application in November (cause I procrastinate) .  With the online application, you do not include any medical records, etc., you just submit the application.  They will give you the oppertunity to submit records, etc, after you get the ball rolling.

Since I do not have one big mailidy, I listed all of my disabilities and will let them sort it out.  I am 60 years old and haven't worked for 2 years, which helps, and I am going the "wore out worker" route.  I listed the VA medical clinic, VA doc and the VA for my medical records, to include my 100% P&T.  I did not submit any medical records on my own.  Will see how that pans out.

A couple weeks after I submited my application, I recieved a call from the local SS office and had a brief phone interview.  She asked me about my work history and when and why I do not work anymore.  I told her what I did for employment and why I can't do it anymore.  She said it (my application) looked good and that she would send it forward for medical evalutation.

I can and do follow it online and they have a percent done meter, which currently puts me a 43%, and an estimate of 7 months to complete.  Not sure if that is 7 months from November, or 7 more.  I assume its 7 months from November as that disclamer never changes.  

Just as with VA claims, the sooner the better.  Your clock starts when you submit your intent.  Remember, you don't get benefits for the first 6 months, and you don't get Medicare for up to 24 months from your start date.  You will have plenty of time to get your ducks in a row later, 

or add ducks,

Hamslice

 

 

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