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Social Security Disability benefits for veterans: part 1

The recent escalation of the conflict in Iraq and Syria serves as a somber reminder to many military families whose loved ones have served previously. Many of America's heroes come home with obvious physical injuries and impairments; for others, the damage may not be clear from the outside, but is nonetheless real, lasting and life-changing.

We're going to spend some time here on our Kissimmee Social Security Disability law blog discussing what rights veterans suffering from combat injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder have to collect disability benefits. More specifically, we'll review how Social Security disability benefits for injury may be able to help veterans in particular. Some might not be aware that they could apply for such a thing; others may not have a clear understanding of the differences between VA benefits and Social Security Disability.

One group who may qualify for benefits under Social Security Disability is service members who were on active duty any time after September 30, 2001, and who became disabled in the course of their service. You need not have become disabled in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other specific country; location does not matter.

What does matter is that you fit the definition of disabled under the Social Security guidelines. That definition is that your medical condition prevents you from doing substantial work, and is expected to either last a year or more or that it will eventually prove fatal. In other words, Social Security Disability is not available to veterans with short-term or partial disability.

Readers who think they may fit this description or have a loved one who does may wish to consider applying for benefits. We'll also take a look in our next post at what the Social Security Administration offers veterans in more specific situations.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Information for Wounded Warriors and Veterans Who Have a Compensation Rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T)," accessed on Oct. 13, 2014

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