Veterans and Wounded Warriors can apply for Social Security Disability, SSI. All of our Veterans are heroes but I wonder if many of them know that their service or work history may entitle them to Social Security Disability if they are unable to return to work? Many of our recent veterans are still on active duty in the Wounded Warriors program, where they continue to receive military pay while they attempt to get medical treatment and determine whether they will be able to continue to serve or transition to civilian life. This wonderful program allows injured military to begin the tough transition while still receiving pay and medical care. Often this is a good time to begin the process of applying for Social Security Disability. Disability for our Veterans and Wounded Warriors There are approximately 9.4 million military veterans currently receiving Social Security benefits. It takes a special person to give of themselves for the benefit of our country. It was incredible to find out that almost one in four persons receiving Social Security disability, either through Social Security Retirement or Disability, has served our country! Military veterans have been covered by Social Security since 1957. If you served in the military prior to 2001 Congress specifically passed a law that allowed for an additional earned income credit equal to $100.00 in earnings for every $300.00 earned in active duty pay. This credit was to offset the smaller earnings of military as opposed to private employment. Congress ended the credit in 2001. See SSA’s website for more information on disabled veterans and on the end of the income credit for veterans. As we approach the ten year anniversary of 9/11, unfortunately we have a high number of wounded soldiers and marines, many who are still very young, very injured and in need of a bright future. Although there is no preferential treatment for proving disability if you are a wounded veteran (and almost all the veterans we have represented would not have wanted one) most Administrative Law Judges (ALJ’s) will certainly take into account your active duty service and sacrifice for your country. If you are under fifty years of age, you still must prove you are disabled from performing any work to qualify for benefits. That means you cannot do any job in the national economy due to your injuries. For example, if you are able to be the greeter at Wal-Mart you are not disabled for Social Security purposes. If you are over fifty, then the standards change depending on your prior work and current functional limitations. For those recently returning from war, with functional limitations, injuries, post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), depression, anxiety and a host of physical ailments, it is very difficult to decide to file for disability. Remember, filing for disability does not mean you will never work again — instead Social Security can be stopped after your recovery and entry back into the working world. If you have questions as a veteran of our country, please do not hesitate to contact Susan O’Malley in our office, who heads our Social Security Disability section. https://www.omalleytunstall.com/; https://www.omalleytunstall.com/
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