Because the U.S. government has set up programs and benefits for military service members through the Department of Veterans Affairs, they may not think about whether they qualify for additional benefits. Receiving VA disability benefits does not keep someone from being eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In fact, it may expedite the process of receiving SSD benefits in some cases.
Here is what the Social Security Administration has to say about the VA and SSDI benefits.
Different assessments of disability
The VA and the SSA do not rate disabilities the same, and they do not have the same processes. Even if a veteran has a 100% Permanent and Total compensation rating, he or she may not be eligible for SSDI benefits. The SSA considers applicants disabled if they cannot do substantial work because of their health condition and they have had the condition or expect to have the condition for at least a year or expect it to result in death.
The SSA does not consider VA benefits when awarding SSDI benefits. That income is irrelevant.
Although the compensation rating does not guarantee that the SSA will approve the application, it might speed things up. The SSA system flags applications from veterans who have met the VA 100% Permanent and Total disability rating, and those receive expedited processing. How long it takes still depends on other factors such as the nature of the applicant’s disability and the need for further medical evidence, exams and other information.
Having everything ready before sending the application may make the process much faster and smoother.