Veterans! Learn about expedited processing of SSDI claims!
Will your status as a Veteran qualify you for expedited processing of your Social Security Disability claim?
Certain veterans are qualified to request that Social Security expedite their disability claims. Social Security has two programs available to expedite a veteran’s disability claim.
Do you qualify for one of these programs?
The first program is the Wounded Warrior program. This program’s title is a bit misleading because it does not require your injuries to be combat-related. The “expedited” process is available for service members who became disabled while on active military duty. Both the active duty service and the disability must have occurred on or after October 1, 2001.
To qualify for expedited processing under this program, the veteran, or their attorney, must claim Wounded Warrior status. Simply having filed a VA claim is not enough. To claim this preference, you must tell Social Security these very specific facts:
- That you request expedited processing under the Wounded Warrior program;
- That you served as active duty on or after October 1, 2001; and
- That your disability occurred while you were on active duty.
Please note: you do NOT have to show that your disability was combat-related.
Next, be prepared to show Social Security a copy of your DD214. This is in addition to all of the other information that Social Security generally expects you to provide, such as: proof of citizenship, history of employment, points of contact, medical history and records, etc.
For more information on this program, see Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors.
100% PERMANENT & TOTAL RATING
Veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) may also receive expedited processing. You start by completing a Social Security application. During the application process, be sure to let Social Security know that you are rated 100% P&T.
If you apply online, enter “Veteran 100% P&T” in the “Remarks” section of the application. Be prepared to provide Social Security with a copy of your VA notification letter verifying this rating. If you have already applied for benefits but did not request the expedited processing, it may not be too late. Talk to your attorney about expediting your claim.
Even though veterans may be rated as 100% P&T by the Veterans Affairs, this does not mean they will automatically be approved for SSDI. This program does not guarantee disability benefits for the veteran, it only expedites the application (and appeals) process.
For more information on this program, see 100 Percent Total and Permanent Disability for Veterans.
Does Expedited = Fast?
Unfortunately, no. While the process is expedited for approved veterans that does not mean it will necessarily be quick. Expedited just means “faster than non-expedited claims.” The length of time it takes to get a decision depends on several factors including:
- The nature of the disability;
- How quickly Social Security gets the medical records;
- Whether Social Security sends the veteran for a medical examination;
- Where in the country the Veteran and local SSA office are located;
- Whether all possible medical evidence has been submitted prior to a hearing or decision; and
- All of the same factors that affect the processing of any other Social Security Disability Claim.
While the processing time can be shortened from years to months, your best chance of winning is to make sure that all possible medical records and other evidence have been submitted to Social Security. Find an experienced Social Security Disability attorney in your area to help you prove your claim.
If you are a disabled veteran and need help with your Social Security Disability appeal and hearing, contact Deborah at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, for help.
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
Originally Published: October 25, 2016 at thehardinlawfirm.com
Last updated: December 13, 2016 at 14:23 pm