doctorMilitary life can be rough, especially for those who are involved in a war or armed conflict. It is not uncommon for those who serve in the military to struggle with physical, psychological, mental and emotional damage. Many coming back from modern war zones are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, leaving them unable to work or support themselves.

Ten percent of all veterans who were the recipients of Veterans Administration benefits in 2012 were fully disabled, according to The Baltimore Sun. However, for many veterans in Illinois and throughout the country, the process of being approved for Social Security Disability is a long and difficult one that can take up to two years.

Priority status

The Social Security Administration has recently announced that 100 percent disabled veterans will be given priority status when they file for Social Security Disability. The new policy will take effect March 17th of this year. This means that veterans who are deemed by the VA to be fully disabled will be able to receive a decision about their application much more quickly than before. The SSA emphasizes that the change does not guarantee a veteran’s application for benefits.

When veterans mark on their application that they are a “veteran rated 100% P&T” and provide proof of their status through a letter from the VA, the application will be pushed ahead of others. The amount of time the application process will take depends on the need for a medical examination, medical documentation and the type of disability applying veterans have. Veterans should also understand that their VA benefits have no impact on how much they will receive under Social Security.


Medical records are the primary source of proof for a disability application, but many veterans run into unexpected delays when a disability examiner tries to request them from the VA. To avoid this potential issue, veterans should consider picking up their own medical records from the VA hospital or office in their area. It can also speed up the process when veterans pick up their records in person, as it can take weeks or months for VA personnel to respond.

In addition to obtaining their own medical records, it would be a wise idea for veterans to make copies of those records and anything else that they will be submitting with their SSD application.  In the event that an application is lost, which does happen, veterans will not have to spend additional time re-obtaining the records of proof they need, cutting down the overall processing time.

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