If you are a military veteran, first of all thank you for your service and dedication to America; we truly and genuinely appreciate it. And as a veteran, you more than most Americans have earned and deserve the benefits that your fellow citizens have approved through government programs.
If you were injured during your service and are unable to work as a result, you may be eligible for SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance. But as most veterans know, getting anything, especially benefits, from a government bureaucracy can sometimes be a job…think of all the war stories you’ve heard about the VA. Having an experienced social security disability claims lawyer on your team can be invaluable. In the meantime, here is some intel that will come in handy when considering applying for SSDI.
You can receive benefits from BOTH the VA and Social Security
The disability programs run by the VA and by Social Security are separate programs, so each has its own set of requirements to qualify and offers different benefits to those who do. For example, the VA allows for “partial disability,” meaning you have some ability to do work, and will provide reduced benefits in those cases. SSDI, on the other hand, is “all or nothing,” meaning you are either disabled or you can work; there’s no in-between. But because the programs are separate, even if you don’t qualify for one you may qualify for the other, and many veterans are eligible to receive disability benefits from both programs.
Your discharge status doesn’t matter
Social Security doesn’t consider your discharge status when making eligibility decisions for SSDI. Although the criteria are strict and it can be difficult to prove your eligibility, the SSDI criteria only have to do with whether or not your disability prevents you from working.
Your family can receive SSDI benefits
SSDI also provides for “auxiliary benefits” for spouses and children. If your injury has left you unable to work, it affects your family as well and they may be eligible to receive SSDI payments. For a spouse to be eligible, he or she must be younger than 62-years-old. For children to be eligible, they must be either under 18 or enrolled full time in high school and under the age of 19 or have become disabled before the age of 22 (as well as being unmarried and your dependent).
There are things you can do to speed up the process…and we’re here to help
Every case is different, so it’s hard to predict how long it will take to start receiving the benefits you’ve earned. On the other hand, there are things you can do to speed up the process. For example, you may have heard that it often takes a long time before you can receive benefits. However, as a veteran you may be eligible to skip the waiting period. To do that, you’ll need to file a form called a Critical Request Evaluation Sheet.
Our firm really does appreciate your service, and we want to give back. We’re passionate about helping veterans get connected with the benefits they’ve earned, and we would be proud to assist you. We offer free case consultations as well as discounted rates for veterans, so call us to arrange a free consultation.