February is almost over and March is just around the corner. This year’s transition will be beneficial for those veterans that have received a 100 percent disability rating but still have a pending application for disability benefits in the backlog.
The Social Security Administration recently announced that veterans that have already received a rating of fully disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran affairs will have their applications put on the fast track for a decision. This policy change will go into effect at the beginning of March.
This new expedited process will help a lot of veterans. In fact, based on 2012 data, approximately 10 percent of all veterans that received benefits that year had been determined to be fully disabled. There are only estimates available for the number of veterans that will be helped as a result of this policy change.
What is clear is that it only applies to those that have received a fully disabled determination. What about the other approximately 90 percent?
“I did a lot for my country,” said one veteran who worked as a police officer prior to being called to Iraq and Afghanistan. It was there that everything changed. He was pushed into situations that the average citizen can’t possibly comprehend. These situations caused him to suffer anxiety and traumatic flashbacks upon his return.
He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was determined by the VA to be 70 percent disabled, affecting his ability to return to work as a civilian police officer. He is still awaiting benefits under an appeal of both the initial SSA denial and the disability rating that he was given based on the circumstances.
Those that have served our country deserve a fair chance at obtaining the benefits that they may be eligible for. An SSD attorney can help St. Louis residents ensure that their disability rating is correct and that the application process is free of errors that could cause undue delays or denials.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Social Security to expedite veteran disability claims,” Yvonne Wenger, Feb. 18, 2014