Oct 7, 2015

This Is Wrong

     From EM-15034, just issued by Social Security:
Beginning September 25, 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and VA initiated a weekly information exchange agreement in which the VA provides SSA with information concerning veterans who received the VA 100% P&T [Permanent and Total] disability compensation rating. With this release, when an individual contacts SSA, and their social security number is on our database as having the 100% P&T rating, our users will receive an immediate alert that we must expedite the case.
Additionally, when an alert identifies the individual as having this VA rating, no additional proof of the 100% P&T rating is necessary to expedite the case. ...
     We owe our veterans a lot but we don't owe veterans who have 100% VA ratings expediting on their Social Security disability claims. These vets aren't in great financial distress. They have their VA benefits. Other disabled people hurtle towards homelessness while vets who don't really need it get expediting. This is wrong.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Charles. Especially when you look at how flimsy the med records are for some of the 100% p/t

Anonymous said...


This initiative is a purely "political" reaction to Congressional pressure [primarily from Sarbanes] to do more for Vets. It makes no sense from a public policy standpoint for the reason you cited - by definition the Vets are already receiving benefits.

Dan Smith said...

When I worked as an associate at a large firm, a colleague of mine represented a veteran at a SSD hearing and received an UF. They decided that the vet needed to get more treatment and refiled a new claim. Apparently this state was already fast-tracking any claims for veterans because the new claim was processed, denied, appealed, and scheduled for another hearing with the same judge FOUR MONTHS after the UF. My colleague didnt find out about it until the week before the hearing (part of the problem with many large-scale practices) and tried to contact the client to discuss what the heck they were going to do, only to find out that the vet had been working for the past couple months (and making twice as much as us associates at that)

Is there a way to challenge this kind of nonsense without being cast as someone who doesnt care about vets?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Charles et al 100%, but you won't win this one. This is purely political with SSA wanting to look like it supports vets and also isn't the VA in delaying vet claims.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's kind of like how veterans preference rules as actually applied in Fed hiring, etc. probably don't work how the public expects or would want: we may really want to sound the alarms, but the military and vets are such a touchy topic it isn't worth even trying as the backlash would be swift and devastating.

Anonymous said...

Yup, I was on the team that nailed that one down. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-02-18/news/bs-md-veterans-ssa-20140218_1_disability-va-rating-former-service-members It was 100% a political action imposed by Sarbanes and not anything that could be not done without severe consequences to the agency. Has anyone ever publicized the numbers? It was a quite small number if I recall, but won't guess now what it is - but a lot of staff and systems time on both sides for an outlier population.

Anonymous said...

We are getting these every day, and more recently, the ones who have been assigned a 100% rating are in no way entitled to it (e.g. 50% sleep apnea, 10% flat feet, 10% diabetes, 40% "anxiety and depression") where the VA has just written down what they say with no documentation whatsoever. Not only do they get moved to the front of the list, but you have to do a lot of discrediting of the VA to not pay them.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind cutting the vets a break - they certainly deserve it. However, by expediting their claims, SSA may inadvertently be harming their chances for DIB due to the lack of duration because their hearings come so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Congress should be investigating why vets are nor receiving their VA benefits but encouraged first into the SSA system. The vets disability rating can be from 10 up to 100% but are struggling to get any of their VA benefits. Why is the congress not fighting for the vets to receive their VA benefits first?. It happens with injured workers too. They receive little to no comp benefits but are hurried along onto social security within the first two years of their disability even though the employer to endlessly litigate to give any total permanent disability from 10 to 100%. As with vets, it can take years if ever to get any disability rating. It appears here that employers including the DOD are given a free pass in not having to pay out on any of their financial insurance responsibilities and just let SS/Medicare pay for it all at the disabled and taxpayers expense.

Anonymous said...

About 15 years ago Bob Dole headed a committee to reform Veterans benefits. One of the issues was double dipping. All that went out the window with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no political will to take on veterans who all have been elevated to hero status.

Anonymous said...

Agreed but these men and women deserve more if they served in a military conflict. Period. Sure most non-VA claimants would understand.