I came across your email on a forum regarding the VA’s P&T rating. The article I read was pertaining to a Veteran that had just received a P&T rating from the VA and he was applying for SSDI. My husband’s situation is just the opposite. He is a recently retired Marine with a 100% service-connected disability rating received Dec 2012. He was approved for SSDI last year which backdated to 8/2010. However, he was not given a P&T rating by VA. He has 5 injuries, PTSD at 70%, plus 4 more rated at 60/30/30/30 that his letter says will be re-evaluated.
However, I came across a site that said veterans are automatically eligible to be considered P&T if they have been determined disabled by the SSA.
This is an issue for us because some of our state benefits are only awarded to veterans with 100% AND P&T, and right now we are being denied these benefits.
I have spoken to a VARO Rep who opened a claim but we are looking at another 6 months (if we are lucky). Do you have any experience with this type of issue?
Yes, I do have experience with this type of issue. You've been misinformed.
Veterans are *not* automatically eligible to be considered P&T if they have been determined disabled by the SSA. The VA and the SSA have very different standards for defining disability. Further, VA doesn't ever consider the veterans need for a rating classification because of things like state benefits. VA assigns ratings only according to the laws that govern them.
A temporary (non P & T) rating from VA is common if the veteran is rated for PTSD or other mental health conditions. VA considers that there is a very good likelihood of improvement with treatment, thus VA doesn't want to assign a P & T rating.
I'm not sure who a "VARO Rep" might be. I will assume that you may have spoken to a veterans service officer (VSO) who works for a veterans service organization. It's my experience that those individuals aren't very well versed about what the law, rules and regulations are.
If your husband is under the age of 55, and if he has a significantly high rating for PTSD, it is unlikely that there is anything to do about the P & T dilemma you're in. If you push too hard for it, you may find that VA will see improvement in a condition of his and lower his existing ratings.
I've written about this on my blog at http://www.vawatchdog.org/permanent-and-total---p---t-.html If you'll read that page and explore the web site, you'll become familiar with the laws that govern how this really works.