Disabled active duty personnel and veterans may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they are no longer able to perform substantial gainful activity. These benefits are different from VA compensation benefits and require a separate application through the Social Security Administration. If you were injured while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001, you may be entitled to expedited processing of your claim. If you believe you qualify for expedited handling, be sure to
- Inform the Social Security Administration right away that your disability occurred while on active military duty AND
- Have information available regarding all the doctors you have seen and the address of the military site where your records are kept.
Be sure to gather your documents such as the original or certified copy of your birth certificate, or proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency if foreign born; Form DD214; W-2 from the last year, proof of military pay or any workers' compensation pay, and social security numbers of your spouse and any minor children.
"You may apply for disability benefits at any time while in military status or after discharge, whether you are still hospitalized, in a rehabilitation program, or undergoing out-patient treatment in a military or civilian medical facility. You may apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ woundedwarriors, in person at the nearest Social Security office, by mail or by telephone." www.ssa.gov or 1-800-772-1213.
If you were wounded while on active duty, can no longer work, and have applied for Social Security disability, make sure to inform your attorney if you believe your qualify for expedited handling.