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Social Security Disability Benefits for Veterans: the Basics

If you are a veteran or an active duty service member who became disabled while on active duty, you are eligible to get an expedited decision in your Social Security disability case. The disability does not need to be related to the individual's military duty, because the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not take into consideration where or how the disability occurred—so long as the individual was on active duty.

When you initially apply for disability, you must show the SSA records proving that you were an active service member at the time when your disability happened. Once your application is received, it will be labeled as a Military Casualty/ Wounded Warrior file, and it will be expedited through all stages of the disability decision process.

Service members of all branches of the United States military are eligible for expedited claims. The SSA distinguishes the following as being on active duty:

  • Service members on full time duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard (as well as individuals who are on active duty for training purposes within one of these branches)
  • Students of the Naval Academy, West Point, or U.S. War College
  • Students at pre-deployment training facilities
  • Members of the Army or Air Force National Guard that have been ordered to full-time duty following an order by the President during a time of war or other national emergency
  • Reservists called to active duty, undergoing full-time training or annual training, or attending a school designated as a Military Service School

The two types of disability benefits are Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI). If you have a long work history, you will probably qualify for SSDI, while people with little to no work history and few assets will qualify for SSI.

When the SSA is determining if they believe you are disabled, they will use the medical evidence in your records, the opinions of your medical providers, and their own doctors. In order to be approved, it must be concluded that your condition prevents you from doing any substantial work, and that your condition lasted or is expected to last at least a year—or result in your death.

If you are a veteran seeking social security disability benefits, our team at Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC is prepared to assist you. Do not hesitate to contact our office today to learn about the services our Plano social security disability lawyers may be able to provide you with!