“Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors” is the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) expedited program for disabled veterans to receive disability benefits. These benefits are entirely different from those available through Veterans Affairs, which also offers disability benefits to veterans. The primary difference between disability benefits for the two agencies is that Veterans Affairs disability benefits can provide benefits based on a proportional injury (for example, a veteran can receive prorated benefits for suffering from a 50 percent injury). With SSA disability benefits, the benefits are all or nothing. A disabled veteran must be completely unable to work for at least 12 months in order to receive SSA disability benefits.
Disabled veterans are eligible for both Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. The basic difference between these two programs is that SSDI benefits are available for veterans and their families who paid into the Social Security system for enough years, whereas SSI benefits have income requirements, but do not require a certain number of years of work. The definition of “disabled” that the SSA uses is the same for both types of SSA disability benefits.
Disabled veterans have an advantage in the often lengthy disability benefits application process in that they proceed through the process more quickly than other applicants do. They should ensure that they correctly indicate on their application that their disability occurred while they were on active military duty. Providing the SSA with contact information for the military sites where their medical records are also speeds up the process.
Are you a disabled veteran who received disability benefits from the Social Security Administration? Do you have any advice for other disabled veterans hoping to get these benefits?