People who qualify for Veterans disability benefits may also qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For people planning to apply for both, a copy of the VA claim examination (also called compensation and pension examination, or C&P exam) can be important evidence in assessing their conditions and limitations.
This is because the VA claim examination is written in a format that identifies a person’s conditions and the functional limitations associated with those conditions. (Sample Exam (DBQ) forms can be seen here: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_publicdbqs.asp). Please note that not all servicemembers or veterans are required to have a claim examination according to our Indianapolis social security attorney.
Social Security and Veteran Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration assesses disability based on functional limitations in the context of work-like activities resulting from diagnosed medical conditions. The Veterans Administration uses different laws, rules, and guidelines. Therefore, an award of Veterans benefits does not necessarily mean that the Social Security Administration will approve an application for benefits.
It may come as a surprise that the report from the examination that the VA performs as part of an application for service-connected disabilities is not always released as part of a person’s medical record. The examination report is generally made available to the servicemember/veteran, but not necessarily to a third-party (such as an attorney). If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability, and have already undergone a C&P exam, you should obtain a copy of that report. To get your copy, you can reach out to your regional VA office or your Veterans Service Officer.