SSDI Denial but


My husband is 100% P&T disabled, he lost his right arm below the elbow in Iraq in 2004. He has been denied by our SSA for disability, How can this be and do you have any advice for what to do next. Thanks for your service and your time/advice.

Jim's Reply:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have markedly different systems for rating disability. The SSA measures the applicant as either totally unable to work or able to work where the VA rates us in increments of 10% up to 100% disabled.

The VA only rates service connected conditions and the SSA reviews all disabling conditions. 

The age of the applicant plays a much bigger role at the SSA than it does at the VA. The SSA assumes that most under the age of 55 years old can be trained to do some sort of productive work. I'd have to assume that the administrative law judge who reviewed your veterans application for benefits saw that there was at least some small opportunity for him to do work from home on-line or perhaps in some other field where he could develop skills.

In my own experience with these cases the SSA won't be persuaded to award SSDI to someone under age 55 unless they are permanently bedridden or otherwise in need of 24 hour care to support life. If he's been denied, talk with an SSA lawyer and follow that advice, understanding that there may not be anything to do until he's older.