Helping Veterans and Active Duty Military Members

" "Social Security honors the people who risk their lives to protect our freedom. Our disability program is an important part of our obligation to wounded warriors and their families.

For military members who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to. If you know any wounded veterans, please let them know about Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website.

The Wounded Warriors website answers many commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.

The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

Social Security is proud to support veterans and active duty members of the military. Let these heroes know they can count on us when they need to take advantage of their earned benefits. Our webpages are easy to share on social media and by email.

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33 thoughts on “Helping Veterans and Active Duty Military Members

  1. When I signed up for ssc brought with me my disability papers and the social security person refused to place my disability for pay. I feel I was misrepresented by social security and many vets feel the same.

    • Thank you for your service, Bela! If you’re referring to veterans who have a VA compensation rating of 100% permanent and total (P&T), they may receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. However, a VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits. To be approved for Social Security benefits, you must meet Social Security’s definition of “disability”. For additional information, check out our Veterans web page.

  2. Why does a veteran who gave 12/1/2 years of military service, with 3 years of Vietnam service and served in two branches of the military, have to pay a Medicare charge.

  3. I have only a 90 percent disability through the VA connected to my 20 years of military service. Do I qualify for SS disability too?

    • Hi Alvin. First of all, thank you so much for your service! If you are receiving benefits from the VA, please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application.

      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 right online. If you are unable to file online, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to make an appointment.

      For more information, visit our Veterans web page.

      • They told me i had to be discharged first.. nothjng but lies.. my rate went from 1300 to 880 because of the wait

  4. Getting the jerk around. Ssdi is a joke. 100% rated and cant work. Will spend 2 years till they finally aprove. THE SYSTEM MAKES YOU GET A LAWYER. NOT RIGHT TO HAVE TO SHARE MONEY I WORKED FOR WHEN THE CASE IS CLEAR AND DRY.

  5. Thank you to ALL our military past or present and ALL those who have support/supported them every step of the way!🇺🇸

  6. Thank you so much for this article. Many active duty members and recently retired disabled veterans are not briefed on this subject when attending Transition Briefings to prepare us for the civilian world. I would like to suggest that someone reach out to all military bases and request to have. Social Security representative attend and speak on the subject. Their presence is needed, just as all of the other reps in attendance present to educate and bring awareness regarding benefits we can apply for and/or receive.

    • If you are 100 percent permanently and totally (P&T) disabled and cannot work, submit an application for benefits. If you are partially disabled and can work, submit an application, however veterans whom cannot work and are 100 percent (P&T) applications will be expedited, and their is no gaurantee a benefit will be received in any case, unless you have a disease that will not be cured or reversed and the disease stops you from working.

  7. Please issued pay pension on my account holding on bangkok bank in new york brand and they pay to me in Thailand bangkok bank brand by deposit direct transfer to my account,IAT exchange to be thai bath ! Pay after 04/01/2019

  8. As a Veteran, the SS Administration have rejected me several times, It is maybe because I don’t understand the issue, or what,??..They say I don’t qualify neither for ssa or ssi..

    • First of all, thank you for your service to our country. If you are receiving benefits from the VA, please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application.

      If you are disabled and denied benefits, you should file an appeal. There are four levels in the appeals process. A reconsideration is the first level. Typically, the length of time it takes to receive a decision on your reconsideration is about 60 days but the amount of time could vary from case-to-case. We reevaluate all evidence, plus any additional evidence submitted and make a new decision. If you disagree with the reconsidered decision, you can choose to go to the next level of the appeals process.

      You may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this information is helpful.

  9. I have been rejected several time, neither SSI OR SSA. and still I don’t understand.
    Maybe I do not qualify for it..??

    • Luis, if not understood by now, Ms. Clifton explained to you that benefits are paid to people whom have medical problems and they cannot work or the benefit is paid to people whom have a medical problem that will stop them from working for a year or more. If you are one of the people with a medical problem and cannot work because of it or it will keep you out of work for one year or more and you were denied, you may appeal the denial by using the appeal steps listed in Ms. Clifton’s reply. I hope that helps comrade.

  10. I have 90% disability from the VA, and retired due to my health condition. Can I apply to social security for my disability?. I’m receiving social security now and I’m 67 years old.

    • Hi, Santiago. Thank you for your service to our country. We pay disability benefits to people under their full retirement age who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or end in death. Once people reach full retirement age, we pay them their retirement benefits. We hope this helps.

  11. I am glad that there is such a program. It makes me proud that we take care or our own. Yet in another side… The retire veterans who where lucky enough to be in a combat zone and was not hurt, such as me. I am an Air Force navigator who retired several years ago. When I applied for my SS benefits (on my 52nd birthday) I was surprise when i receive a letter discontinuing my son (he was diagnose medically fragile 20+ yrs ago) Medicaid… they told me that because I applied for SS benefits – My son cannot get medicaid, even though he was diagnose with MD when he was 8yrs old. I had no choice but cancel my SS benefits because I felt that I was being coerce. Either my son gets Medicaid support and I forfeit my SS benefits OR I get my SS benefits and my son forfeit his medicaid. Medicaid is a MUST for my son. Without medicaid he is good as dead. My son has been diagnose as medically fragile… SS and DHS should know that “medically fragile” is a SERIOUS diagnose and they should have let me discuss my son’s needs. Yet SS and DHS refuse to talk. question: What Now?

  12. I’m turning 65 yrs old in August 6 2019 I need help in picking the right coverage for me. Part A, B C and D?

    • Hi, Leo. If you are already getting Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. If you are not already getting retirement benefits, you should contact us about three months before your 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare. Medicare Part D helps pay for the cost of prescription drugs. Anyone who has Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is eligible for prescription drug coverage or Medicare Part D. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you would pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage. You also may be able to get Extra Help paying for the annual deductibles, monthly premiums and prescription co-payments related to the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) if you have limited income and resources. For more information, please read our Medicare publication here. You may also wish to contact your local Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Program Coordinator) to discuss your options. We hope this helps.

  13. I am currently receiving 80% Disability Compensation by the VA, I have lost complete hearing on my right ear and have tinitus, I also suffered a MST PTSD of which I am unable to even leave the home. Can I still apply with SSN?

    • Thank you for your service to our country, Diana. Disability benefits are not automatically paid to service connected veterans. If you are receiving benefits from the VA, please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. We hope this helps.

  14. I am a 100% Disabled Combat Veteran who retired after 26 years of service. According to the Veterans Administration I am unable to work. Because of severe cervical spine damage I am unable to sit or stand for more then 10 or 15 minutes.
    According to the Social Security Administration I do not meet the criteria for being unemployable and I do not qualify for Disability Compensation. It has now taken me 19 months of playing games with the Social Security Administration just to be told it will take another 15 months to have my case adjudicated.
    This concept of Social Security taking care of its Veterans is just a case of false advertisement and down right sickening. I can no longer work because of my service to this country yet the one organization that is suppose to assist me, won’t
    .

  15. After being wounded in Afghanistan I was entered into this program. I was hospitalized then in a recovery program that ultimately resulted in being medically discharged from active duty Army. I received benefits for several months then SSA changed course and said active duty members can not receive both military pay and SSA benefits. I am now getting all my benefits recouped and was sent to collections. Why are clear guidelines and a process to place members of the military in and out of SSA benefits not in place?

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