As an American who has served your country, do you now need some support yourself? If so, you are not alone. The Census Bureau reports that nearly 4 million American Vets across the country live with disabilities. Over a quarter of them are unable to be gainfully employed, and face serious limits throughout daily life. Veterans receive benefits to assist with disabling conditions, but in some cases, more assistance is necessary. If you find yourself in such a position, a qualified Social Security attorney may be worth contacting.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is awarded to individuals who have been diagnosed with a permanent total disability according to SSDI standards. The Social Security Administration lists every condition and disorder that entitles one to benefits, and has very strict guidelines and requirements for applicants. While all Americans are eligible for these benefits if they qualify, Veterans are entitled to some special perks:
- Expedited application processing: While typically applications take anywhere from several months to more than one year to process, as a Veteran you may receive benefits information and a benefit determination literally within weeks;
- Higher possibility of qualifying for benefits: If you have a VA disability ration of 70 percent or more, it’s much more likely that you will qualify for SSDI benefits. The coordination of government agencies makes this a smoother, quicker process.
- Continuation of military pay: Although SSDI recipients are generally unable to earn money, which is part of the qualification for the benefit, military pay is not based on current work, so Veterans may collect their military pay in addition to SSDI.
- SSDI supports in conjunction with TRICARE: SSDI Medicare provides excellent health care coverage, and TRICARE falls in with secondary coverage.
You Should Know…
While it’s true that many disabled Vets are eligible for benefits from both the VA and SSDI, it’s important to understand that these are separate organizations, and each has its own standards, definitions, and requirements related to the application process. The Social Security Administration defines eligibility according to three key criteria:
- One is unable to do the type of work done previously;
- One is unwilling to do the work that others of your education and physical ability level do;
- Your disabling condition is anticipated to last more than a year, or is expected to cause your death.
In contrast, the VA defines a disability in terms of its impact n daily life; you may be totally or partially disabled and be eligible for benefits.
Applying for Benefits
If you are denied SSDI benefits, you are entitled to appeal that decision. Having an attorney who is familiar with the forms and expectations of the SSA can be quite beneficial at this point. At the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, our Jackson Social Security benefits attorneys have the experience and know-how to streamline your claim application in order to achieve maximum benefits. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation.