SSDI Denial


Hello sir, I hope all is well given the state of things. I am looking for assistance with SSDI. I am rated 100% P&T and have been trying to apply for SS benefits, but I can't find a lawyer that is willing to assist me. I was injured in Iraq in 09 and filed for SSDI in 2011 but after I was denied I just gave up. I recently was in VA Vocational rehab and they set me up with a construction job through helmets to hard hats but I couldn't complete the program because of medical reasons. This was the first time I had worked for more than a few months since my injury, and, because of it, SS has denied my application once again for SSDI because of working, saying I was able to get a job so I am not able to use my date of injury from 09 any longer. I find this to be unreal. How is it I can be a total disabled veteran who was injured at age 19 and because I didn't know any better to file for SSDI after being denied when I was 20, I am now ineligible after taking part in a VA Vocational rehab program which I couldn't even complete. I just find it hard to believe the government would turn their back on me after all this time because of a failed attempt at long term employment. If you are able to give me any guidance here I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Jim's Reply:

The fact is that the SSA disability system is greatly different than the VA disability system. If you've been denied SSDI and you've talked with lawyers who decline to take your appeal, there's a message in there for you. Disability lawyers keep the lights on in their offices by winning SSDI appeals. If they won't take yours, it's because they don't see any path to win.

It happens.

Many veterans are disappointed when denied SSDI although they are 100% rated with VA. One of the big reasons behind this is that almost anyone under age 55 is considered by SSA as to be trainable in some form of gainful work. VA doesn't apply age as a strict standard as much as SSA does. 

That you had employment, no matter how brief, was a signal to SSA that you are able to participate in some level of returning to work and by the SSA standard, you aren't eligible for SSDI. You'll need to prove your case a little longer...until you've aged a bit.