Many service members who have suffered a disabling injury while serving our country may be unaware that the Department of Veterans Affairs is not the only potential agency that can help a wounded warrior makes ends meet. A wounded warrior may qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration.
These important programs are often overlooked by disabled veterans. You need to know that filing for benefits from the VA will not trigger a concurrent process in the SSDI program. A wounded warrior must submit a separate application to the Social Security Administration. The benefits are separate from benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is also important to note that a separate application is required.
The SSA defines disability as any condition that prohibits a person from being able to perform substantial work and that is continued to last for at least one year, or is expected to result in death.
Active Duty And Military Pay Does Not Automatically Deny Benefits
Disabled veterans who are still receiving military pay are not necessarily ineligible for disability benefits. An active duty service member who is disabled may be able to apply for the SSA disability benefits if they are unable to work, even though he or she is still listed as being on active duty. For instance, a veteran receiving treatment at a military facility or on limited duty may still qualify for benefits. The actual work activity being performed is generally the determining factor.
The SSA provides wounded warriors with an expedited application process. However, that does not mean the process is not cumbersome. A detailed application requires solid evidence of the disabling condition. Veterans who became disabled while on active duty should consider speaking with an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney to learn more about the SSA benefits that may be available.