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Social Security & VA Opinions/Examinations?


What is Social Security Disability?

            Under the federal Social Security Disability Act, a "disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."

Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD)

            SSD benefits are paid to individuals who have worked in the recent years. Usually you have to work 5 out of the last 10 years. For individuals under 31 years old, the requirements are different since they have not been in the work force as long.

Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI)

            SSI benefits are paid to individuals who are low income individuals/families and are disabled whether or not the individual has worked in the past. SSI child's disability benefits are paid to children who are under 18 years old, are disabled and the parents or guardian are of lower income.

Who is Eligible?

            The test for eligibility is not whether you can go back to a job that you have lost, nor is it whether you've been able to find a recent job. The test for eligibility is whether you are physically and emotionally capable of performing a job that is generally available in the every day work place.

            In addition, in order to obtain Social Security Disability benefits, you must have a doctor state that you are disabled "by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory findings". The findings are established by Social Security and are printed in a listing. However, many disabling conditions can be difficult to diagnose by standard hands on evaluation and may require additional diagnostic tests.

Reasons for Social Security Denial

Assuming your medical condition fits a Social Security listing, the most common cause for denial is your doctor's inability to adequately and correctly document the information that Social Security requires, causing a delay in your benefits.

 

Medical Evidence and Report for Your Veterans Affairs Claim

Maximize Your VA Disability Compensation Benefits

What Is VA Disability Compensation?

            Disability Compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or medical conditions that occurred while on active duty.  In addition, if active military service or another service related disability makes your medical problem worse, you may also be covered.  Last, if your medical care causes a disability, you may be eligible for compensation.   And most importantly, these benefits are tax-free.

Who Is Eligible?

You may be eligible for Disability Compensation if you have a service-related disability and received a discharge under "other than a dishonorable condition."

How Much Is Compensation Entitlement?

Basic benefits paid ranges from $112 for a 10% disability to $2,393 per month for a 100% disability, depending on your level of disability percentage.[1]

Note:  You may be paid additional amounts, under certain circumstances if:

                                    1.         You have a seriously disabled spouse

                                    2.         You have very severe disabilities or loss of limb(s)

                                    3.         You have a spouse, children, or dependent parents

 

How Is Your Percentage Disability Determined?

 

You must by a physician either the VA system practice.  However, a physician employed by the VA may not have only your best interests in mind as they may not look to maximize your claim, which you are legally entitled to.

 

Once a thorough history assessment, evaluation and review of your medical records has occurred, the information gathered will be compared to the US Title 38 CFR Veterans Affair Regulations which consists of the medical criteria used in determining your percentage disability.

 

Why Choose an Independent Physician For Your Evaluation?

 

The Veteran's Administration has recognized that a problem exists with the equal rating of claimant disabilities for identical medical conditions when evaluated by different VA physician examiners and raters.  Therefore, it would be in the veteran's best interest to consult with a physician in private practice who is familiar with disability evaluations.

 


 

[1] Current benefit amounts are subject to change on yearly basis based on Congressional action.

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