It is always sad when a California resident who at one point served her country in one of the branches of the armed services winds up unable to work and in financial hardship as a result.

This tragedy often happens because of some sort of injury or illness the veteran suffered because of his service in the military. Fortunately, in these circumstances, a disabled veteran may be able to avail himself of Social Security Disability benefits.

One piece of good news is that a veteran may obtain Social Security Disability benefits in addition to compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs, even though the latter form of compensation is also a disability benefit. Since every dollar is valuable for a veteran who cannot work, she should strongly consider applying for benefits under both programs.

In fact, if Veterans Affairs has already determined that a veteran is 100 percent disabled, then he can apply for Social Security Disability on an expedited basis.

This does not mean that he will automatically get benefits. However, the Social Security Administration will handle his application for benefits on what it calls a high priority basis, meaning that so long as the Administration gets the information it needs promptly, it will be able to move a veteran’s application, in a sense, to the top of the stack. This is also true should a veteran need to ask for a review before an administrative law judge in the event her application for benefits gets denied.

As mentioned, though, a veteran still has to prove he is indeed legally disabled before he will receive Social Security, even if another agency already considers him disabled. Doing so will require providing appropriate documentation and making a convincing legal argument. A Modesto veteran may wish to seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney in order to do this.