SSDI Benefits for Veterans

Serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces is an honor that not every person will get to experience in their lifetime. However, if you are a veteran of any branch of the military, you might be eligible for monthly payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA) of up to $2,700. The payments would be made as part of the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI. When you have questions about these benefits or need to file an application, you should work with an experienced Orange County Social Security disability attorney.

Benefits Available for Veterans From SSDI

Disabled veterans are eligible for the following benefits from SSDI if approved:

  • $2,700 per month payments in SSDI benefits
  • Monthly payment of benefits for any children of the veteran under the age of 18
  • Increases each year for cost of living adjustments
  • The ability to use Medicare
  • Retroactive pay

Qualifying for Disability Benefits as a Veteran

In order to qualify for disability benefits from the SSA as a veteran, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are not able to perform substantial gainful activity as deemed by the SSA
  • Your disability is expected to last for at least 12 months or has been determined to be terminal

Many disabled veterans incorrectly think that because they have received a compensation rating from Veterans Affairs (VA) it means that their disability claim will be automatically approved by the SSA. This is not the case. The SSA does not accept the ratings issued by the VA. Instead, you will need to meet the requirements listed above from the SSA.

Keep in mind that you do not have to be retired or discharged from the branch of the military in which you served in order to obtain benefits from the SSA. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you file an application for disability benefits whether you are at home, in a rehabilitation facility, in a hospital, or in an outpatient treatment center.

Important Items of Note for Veterans Seeking SSDI

Being approved for SSDI benefits from the SSA does not disqualify you from other benefits or forms of compensation. Below are some important items of note for veterans seeking SSDI:

  • You can obtain medical coverage through TRICARE and Medicare at the same time even while receiving SSDI from the SSA
  • Your eligibility for SSDI benefits is not impacted by earning an income from the military
  • You can file an application for SSDI benefits at any point after becoming disabled, regardless of your status with the military
  • You can file for SSDI benefits and VA benefits at the same time

Qualifying for Expedited SSDI Benefits

While more than 800,000 veterans continue to wait for their SSDI benefits claims to be approved, you might be eligible for expedited SSDI benefits. Veterans who became disabled after October 1, 2001 might be able to acquire their SSDI benefits through an expedited claims process. If this is approved for your case you might be able to begin earning benefits within a few weeks.

In order to receive expedited SSDI benefits, you will need to have a 100 percent Permanent and Total disability compensation rating from the VA. Again, the 100 percent P&T rating does not guarantee you will receive expedited benefits, but it will improve your chances. Take the following steps if you are 100 percent P&T:

  • File an application for SSDI benefits online
  • Send a copy of the VA notification letter
  • Acquire and submit copies of your medical records to the SSA
  • Provide the SSA with any additional documentation it requests

As with any other legal issue, you should have an experienced Social Security disability lawyer review your case and help you file an application for benefits to improve your chances of success.

Obtaining SSDI Benefits With PTSD

Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can still qualify for and obtain SSDI benefits from the SSA. In order to do so, you will need to provide the SSA with the following in your claim:

  • Have been exposed to an actual or threat of violence, serious injury, or death
  • Suffer from flashbacks, dreams, or intrusive memories
  • You try to avoid external reminders of the incident that caused your PTSD
  • Your behavior and mood have been disturbed
  • An increase in your arousal and reaction to the incident

You must also be able to show that you are extremely limited regarding one of the follow, or have a marked limitation of two:

  • Manage yourself or be able to adapt
  • Interact with other people
  • Apply, remember, or understand information
  • Maintain pace, persist, or concentrate

What Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Do for a Veteran Seeking SSDI Benefits?

Veterans seeking approval of SSDI benefits should consult with a lawyer for all of the following reasons:

  • Explain all of the rights you have under the Social Security Act
  • Represent you in the Administrative Law Judge hearing
  • Review testimony from witnesses, expert witnesses, medical experts, and others
  • Evaluate your medical condition based on the requirements of the SSA for a disability
  • Review all of your medical records
  • Inform you of your rights to reopen earlier claims so that you can maximize the benefits you deserve
  • Evaluate all documents in your Social Security file
  • Review the actions taken against you by the SSA to determine if they are legal and appropriate
  • Ensure that any appeal you wish to file is done so prior to any deadlines
  • Prepare you for the Administrative Law Judge hearing
  • Prepare and submit legal documents to an Appeals Council or an ALJ
  • Request that an Appeals Council review an ALJ decision
  • Communicate on your behalf with insurance companies, employers, doctors, and other entities to help you obtain the compensation you deserve

Call a Social Security Disability Lawyer Today for Help as a Veteran

If you have served our country in any branch of the military, you deserve to receive the benefits to which you are entitled in a timely manner. However, there are backlogs for processing disability benefits for veterans. You should not have to deal with those backlogs. Let a Social Security disability lawyer help you with your claim so you can focus on other areas of your life.