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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Veterans Who Apply for Social Security Disabled-Worker Benefits After Receiving a Department of Veterans Affairs Rating of “Total Disability” for Service-Connected Impairments: Characteristics and...

This study compares the VA disability program and the SSA income continuation program and discusses whether the benefit programs overlap. Today's post is shared from
This article examines the interactions between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program for veterans rated “totally disabled” by VA. We find that one-half of the veterans rated totally disabled during fiscal years 2000–2006 had already applied for DI benefits and over one-third had received them. Some veterans with VA total-disability ratings did not meet the Social Security Administration's disability standards because of differences in the two programs' purposes and disability criteria. Both programs tend to serve an older population, with more than two-thirds of VA total-disability awards going to Vietnam-era veterans older than age 50. We examine differences in the primary medical diagnoses for veterans with exposure to both programs and pay special attention to the diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
When this article was written, Scott Muller was an economist with the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (ORES), Office of Retirement and Disability Policy (ORDP), Social Security Administration (SSA). Nancy Early is a social insurance specialist with ORES, ORDP, SSA. Justin Ronca—formerly with ORES, ORDP, SSA—is the Director of...
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