In addition to disability benefits offered by the VA, servicemembers could also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
June 24, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In addition to the benefits available to servicemembers through the Veterans' Administration, all servicemembers who become disabled after October 1, 2001, while on active duty military service are eligible to receive expedited processing of Social Security disability benefit claims.
Types of Benefits Available
If qualified, injured servicemembers can receive benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI benefits are available if a service member has worked long enough and has paid Social Security taxes on their paychecks. SSI benefits are also available to servicemembers, but these funds are apportioned based upon demonstrated financial need.
What Is a "Disability?"
In order to qualify for benefits, the servicemember must be "disabled" according to regulations set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA considers a person disabled if:
- No substantive employment can be held because of a diagnosed medical condition
- The medical condition must have persisted--or be expected to persist--for over a year; OR
- If the medical condition has not persisted over a year, it must be expected to cause death
Effect of Pay on Eligibility
Eligibility for benefits is controlled by the type of work that the servicemember does. Servicemembers who are currently on active duty and receiving pay are still eligible to receive benefits. However, servicemembers who do substantial for-profit work are generally not eligible.
How to Apply for Benefits
Servicemembers may apply for benefits any time while on active duty or after discharge. In addition to information about the applicant's age, employment history and proof of citizenship, each applicant must submit information about the disability and applicable medical records that will prove the existence of a health condition.
It is important for the servicemember to let the SSA know about all medical conditions, physical and mental, and to provide the names of all treating physicians and medical facilities, as well as medical records. The SSA will consider the impact of all medical conditions and impairments on the applicant's ability to work.
Although the SSA is notorious for having a long backlog of applicants for disability benefits, servicemembers receive expedited processing and generally get awarded benefits sooner than non-military applicants.
An Attorney Can Help
The application and approval process for benefits can be complex. It is a good idea to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney experienced in disability law. An attorney can advise you throughout the process and ensure that you receive all the benefits that you're deserve.
Article provided by Richard A. Sly Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.richardsly.com
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