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Social Security Disability for Wounded Veterans

The Global War on Terror, including the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulted in a greater number of disabled veterans than we have seen in many decades.  Even the Vietnam War, which was one of the deadliest conflicts in our nation’s history, did not have as many disabled veterans returning home.  However, this was not because fewer injuries were occurring. Rather, it was because in the 1960s, the military did not have the ability to save many of these brave men and women and bring them home.

armyRegardless of the cause of the disability, there are a lot of disabled veterans in the nation and many are in desperate need of a financial safety net. Many will turn to the Veterans Administration (VA), since it is the obvious first step in obtaining disability benefits for a wounded warrior. While there were many problems that have been well documented at the VA, things have gotten better, but there is still not enough funding to fully provide for the wounded vets.  For this and other reasons, many disabled veterans are turning to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits as administered by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA).

As discussed in a recent news article from the Santa Ynez Valley News, the SSA states that it gives wounded veterans the support they deserve on a daily basis by providing them with SSDI benefits. One of the programs to help these veterans is to expedite claims handling for any wounded veteran who became disabled after 9/11, and it does not matter where the veteran was when he or she became disabled.

However, as our Boston Social Security disability benefits attorneys can explain, just because the VA has made a determination that you are 100 percent disabled and unable to work, does not mean the SSA will reach the same same conclusion.  We have seen many people who were told they were disabled and entitled to benefits by the VA then had their applications rejected by the Social Security Administration.

The reason they are able to do this is because they are not using the medical definition of being disabled and instead are using the legal definition of disabled according to the regulations that pertain to their particular government agency.  It should be noted that a doctor can find someone to be physically or medically incapable of going to work, but the agency can disagree with this based upon a Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) that was drafted in the 1970s.  The SSA can also differ from the VA because the enabling acts of the two respective agencies and their governing regulations provide for different definitions of what it means to be disabled.

When a veteran applies for SSDI benefits, there is a high likelihood that his or her application will be denied.  The reason for this is because the vast majority of all applications are denied.  At this point, the applicant will have a number of days to apply for reconsideration.  There is a high likelihood that this application will again be rejected.  Eventually, you will be granted a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Inside Social Security: Disability benefits support wounded warriors, November 1, 2016, By Essie Landry, Santa Ynez Valley News

More Blog Entries:

Worker Taxed Thousands for Social Security Disability Benefits He Never Received, June 21, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog