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  • Christopher Le

I am 100% VA disabled, why did Social Security Disability deny me?

Does Social Security Have to Give Weight to a VA Disability Decision or Rating?

As of March 27, 2017, Social Security does not have to take into account decisions made by other governmental agencies regarding a Social Security applicant's disability. Social Security essentially published a new rule stating that Social Security is no longer required to take a VA disability decision into consideration, due to the fact that different rules and standards for disability are applied by different agencies and SSA must make the determination of disability based on their own laws and regulations. In addition, the SSA does not need to explain in its decisions whether they factored in a VA decision.

Prior to March 27, 2017, Social Security was not necessarily BOUND to follow the decision of other agencies, but it normally did give weight to VA approvals that gave a veteran a high rating. Federal circuit courts in the past noted that ‘some weight’ must be given to the VA disability rating, although many of the courts have differed as to how much weight should be given. For example, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, held that an administrative law judge (ALJ) must give "great weight" to a VA determination of disability. In addition, The Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts also used this same "great weight" standard, while other Circuit Courts, such as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, and Tenth Circuits, said that the VA determinations must be given "some weight" in the SSA decision. As you can see, many of the courts differed in how much weight should be given.

What Evidence Is Used by Social Security Administration

Social Security rules state that SSA may consider any evidence of disability from other government agencies, including the VA and DOD (Department of Defense). This includes medical records from VA or DOD. SSA will also consider a variety of other types of evidence, such as objective medical evidence, laboratory findings and your doctor's office visit notes. SSA may also consider a statement from you about your disabling condition, your daily activities, as well as statements from your family members or friends.

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