On Monday we discussed how severe the impact can be when women suffer disabilities. Because they are less likely to have private coverage than men, women often face more difficult financial times when they are unable to work due to a disability. Today we continue our look at particular groups of people who are more likely than others to feel the impact of a disability that prevents them from working. We discuss the case of veterans who suffer disabilities while serving our country.
Disability claims from veterans are at their highest levels ever. Of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, just shy of 50 percent have filed disability claims. For comparison, after the 1990-1991 Gulf War, about 21 percent of servicemembers filed a claim.
Veterans are also filing claims for a larger number of medical conditions, likely a result of improved medical diagnoses and treatments since past conflicts. Injured servicemembers today are much more likely to survive than in years past (95 percent of those injured in Iraq or Afghanistan have survived their injuries). Today’s veterans have claimed an average of eight to nine ailments including hearing loss, back pain and post-traumatic stress. Vietnam veteran claims have, on average, involved less than four ailments, and World War II and Korea veteran claims have typically involved two.
How Can Veterans Take Advantage of Social Security Disability Benefits?
The main difference between disability benefits from the military and those from Social Security is that military benefits are proportional. If you suffered a relatively minor injury, for example, the VA may decide that you are 10 percent disabled and award you benefits accordingly. With Social Security benefits (either SSDI or SSI), you must be completely disabled and unable to work at all. SSDI and SSI benefits are all or nothing. Veterans can use an expedited application process if they suffered their injuries while serving on active duty; the expedited process can be of great assistance, as the process can take years for other applicants.
Are you a veteran who suffered a disability and is unable to work? Contact a Tulsa SSI attorney to learn about eligibility for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers