Being injured on the job could have various results for Florida workers. In some cases, the disability caused by the work injury could prevent the employee from being able to work. Whether the injury is considered a temporary or permanent disability, a work injury could be a cause for a claim for Social Security disability for injuries. In some cases — particularly for veterans of our nation’s armed services — additional benefits may be available.
For veterans, an on-the-job injury often involves a catastrophic injury suffered during active service. Unfortunately, it was recently reported that veterans in Florida have been left waiting for months or even years to receive disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. When a service related injury causes a military member to longer serve the country, filing for disability with the VA for that injury is common, but the wait for these benefits have been very difficult for some.
In one case, a man serving in the Navy for 10 years ended his service due to a knee injury. Even though the knee injury was related to his service in the Navy, he was denied social security disability. Moreover, they told him he was eligible to re-enlist even though the injury itself caused him to end his service.
A recent report indicated that the average wait time for nearly half of the disability claims with the VA took more than 125 to process. Although this is an improvement from last year’s numbers, which were 213 days, this is still a long stretch of time to have claim processed. In some cases claims have taken as long as five years.
In these matters, disabled or injured service members should understand that the benefits sought through Veterans Affairs are actually separate from Social Security disability. In fact, injured veterans can seek benefits from both programs. With the unfortunate news that the benefits available from the VA are slow to come, it may be important to seek the additional benefits available from the SSA to address an individual’s financial needs.
Those seeking social security should understand their rights and understand what federal agencies they should reach out to. Even if they are denied the benefit by a particular agency, they could still have the claim reviewed and re-processed. Seeking guidance about their legal options and remedies in the situation is also important. It ensures that they are well informed and their rights and interests are protected.
Source: ActionNewsJax.com, “Disabled local veterans waiting for disability,” Nov. 6, 2014