Does A 100% VA Disability Rating Translate to Guaranteed Social Security Benefits?
Unfortunately, a 100% VA disability rating does not equate to a guaranteed disability approval. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not use the same criteria to determine disability as the Veteran’s Administration (VA), so it is possible to have a 100% disability rating from the VA and not be considered disabled under SSA guidelines.
If you qualify for VA benefits that put you over the income/asset threshold for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits ($2,000 if you’re single, $3,000 if you’re married), then you will automatically be disqualified from receiving SSI benefits.
However, if you have worked enough to be insured for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), then it is possible to be approved and receive benefits. To be insured for SSDI purposes, you must be fully insured (have forty quarters of work coverage) and be “disability insured” (worked and earned enough money to have 20 quarters of insurance coverage out of the previous forty). I typically tell claimants that the needed quarters typically translate to you having to have been working for five out of the last ten years.
The best way to find out if you will qualify for SSDI and VA benefits, you should call the SSA and find out if you meet the non-medical SSDI criteria (essentially, worked enough quarters to be “disability insured”). If so, then the SSA will take a disability claim and process it through an expedited procedure for veterans who have a 100% VA disability rating.