Decisions by other governmental agencies in relation to an Arizona claimant’s disability status are persuasive but not binding on Social Security judges (ALJs). What this means is even if a Social Security claimant is found to be disabled by the VA, he or she is not conclusively found by an ALJ to be disabled.
A findings of disability from the VA works in a Social Security claimant’s favor, but it will not carry the day.
Social Security ALJs must in their decisions state the reasons why they have disregarded the conclusions of the VA.
At the same time, Social Security ALJs cannot ignore VA disability ratings. They need to give “great weight” to VA determinations, however they can provide less weight to those decisions if they provide “persuasive, specific, and valid reasons for doing so.”
Fendon Law Firm handles Social Security disability cases throughout the State of Arizona. We are the largest family owned and operated worker’s compensation and Social Security disability law firm in the State of Arizona. Please contact us for a free consultation. We have offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott.