Does Rawls consider inborn abilities an important determinant of social status? I haven't read his entire text in A Theory of Justice, but when he mentions the veil of ignorance, is he considering social status more or less a matter of fate?
I have a feeling I'm missing your point, but I suspect Rawls would have said that what determines social status is complicated. I doubt he'd describe it as "fate" since it seems pretty clearly to be a combination of things: accidents of birth (the social status of one's family), partly, one assumes, one's abilities, , and all this against the background of the social arrangements of the particular society. In any case, the people behind the veil of ignorance don't know their social status, but not because this is or isn't a matter of "fate." It's because if they did, it would presumably make a difference to the social arrangement they favored, and that misses the point of the veil.