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America's veterans may seek Social Security disability benefits

Another Veteran's Day has come and gone, and many in Philadelphia spent the day honoring those who have given their utmost in service to our country. Unfortunately, some veterans who have been involved in active combat sacrificed their very health and well-being as part of their service. When a veteran is disabled, he or she may decide to pursue Social Security disability benefits, in order to cope financially with his or her medical condition.

Some military service members who apply for Social Security disability benefits may be able to have their applications expedited. Expedited processing may be available to those who suffered a disability on or after October 1, 2001, during the course of active service in the military. It is important to remember that benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security disability benefits are not the same thing; each requires its own application.

There are certain requirements that must be met for a service member to seek Social Security disability benefits. The individual must be unable to perform work that is considered substantial due to their disability, and their disability must have been going on or expected to go on for at least 12 months or must be fatal.

Those service members who are still receiving military pay may still seek Social Security disability benefits. However, they still must meet the aforementioned requirements. The focus is on actual work activities.

This post, while informative, cannot serve as legal advice and cannot guarantee any specific result in the disability application process. Veterans who want to learn more about Social Security benefits, and whether they can apply for them, may want to seek the advice of an attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Information For Wounded Warriors And Veterans Who Have A Compensation Rating Of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T)," Accessed Nov. 22, 2015

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee