The Social Security Administration has announced that it has begun expediting disability claims for veterans receiving VA service-connected compensation benefits and who have a rating of 100% “Permanent and Total” disability from the VA. According to Emergency Message EM-14013, which provides processing instructions:
The VA rating only expedites Social Security disability claims processing and does not guarantee an allowance for [Social Security] disability benefits. These veterans must still meet Social Security eligibility and entitlement requirements for a disability allowance.
The new expedited process does not apply to veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total disability rating for non-service connected pension benefits.
The expedited process will apply at all levels, similar to the procedure used with terminal illness (TERI) cases. The veteran’s VA Notification Letter indicating a disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total disability is the required proof. The original, photocopy, or facsimile of the letter will be acceptable.
EM-14013 provides processing instructions for calls to the 800 number; for field offices, including direct calls, walk-ins, and phone interviews; and for hearing level situations. The EM is available at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/public/reference.nsf/links/02202014042048PM.