Friday, October 10, 2014

Veterans Get Break on Social Security Disability Claims in Virginia


Recently, I represented four veterans who had PTSD and other injuries as a result of their service for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were trying to get Social Security Disability. All of them had been awarded 100% unemployability ratings by the VA. The ratings were based on their PTSD and other conditions.

They had filed Social Security Disability claims for their conditions to get support for themselves and their children. Unfortunately, their claims were initially denied so they came to me for representation.

First, I was able to get them expedited Social Security Disability hearings before administrative law judges since they had claimed disability due to active military service after October 1, 2001.

Second, in Virginia and in the Fourth Circuit (which covers Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina) there had been a favorable ruling by the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a case in 2012, the Fourth Circuit said VA disability determinations "must be accorded substantial weight in Social Security disability proceedings." Bird v. Commissioner of Social Sec. Admin, 699 F.3d 337. 245 (4th. Cir. 20120). The Fourth Circuit said both SSA and the VA focus on the functional limitations to determine whether the veteran can work so it makes sense to give VA determination substantial weight.

In conclusion, the VA 100% unemployability ratings were extremely helpful in obtaining Social Security Disability for these vets! I was successful with all four claims.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Jerry Lutkenhaus at (804) 358-4766 or (800) 256-8862 or visit our website at Virginia Workers' Compensation Lawyer .