Social Security does speed up disability claims for Wounded Warriors. To receive expedited processing, you must notify them of your military status when you apply, and you must attach supporting documents to your application.
It is also worth noting that Social Security disability is different from any benefits you may receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Social Security disability and VA disability are two different things, administered by two different departments, with two different sets of qualifying criteria—and requiring two different applications.
That said, if you receive VA disability and are fully disabled, it is worth it to apply for Social Security.
How to Qualify for Expedited Social Security Disability Claim Processing as a Wounded Warrior
If you became disabled while on active duty in the military on or after October 1, 2001, you qualify for expedited Social Security disability claims processing. It does not matter if your injury occurred in combat, during a training exercise, on base, or away from base. All that matters is you were injured while on active duty after October 1, 2001.
How to Receive Expedited Social Security Disability Claim Processing as a Wounded Warrior
To have your Social Security disability claim expedited as a Wounded Warrior, it is necessary to take certain steps when submitting your claim. Social Security processes thousands of claims each month, and the approval rate for initial applications is well below 50 percent. The queue often gets backlogged, resulting in long wait times.
You cannot expect Social Security to know you are a Wounded Warrior unless you make it clear in your application. To identify yourself as a veteran who became disabled during active duty, you should do the following when submitting your claim:
- Explain clearly that your disability is a result of an illness or injury that occurred while you were on active duty.
- Provide information about all your treating physicians, as well as the site where your military records are stored.
- Notify Social Security if you change addresses while your claim is being processed.
- Notify Social Security if you change doctors, hospitals, or methods of treatment while your claim is being processed.
If you take care of these items, Social Security can immediately recognize your claim as having been submitted by a Wounded Warrior eligible for expedited processing. Social Security can then expedite your claim through all phases of the review process. Your claim as a Wounded Warrior will be expedited whether you apply in person or online.
How Long an Expedited Social Security Disability Claim Takes for a Wounded Warrior
Even with the expedited review and processing available to Wounded Warriors, Social Security disability claims are too unpredictable to provide an estimate as to how long it will take to receive an answer. Many factors can affect your wait time, including:
- What type of disability you have
- How long it takes your doctor to submit the medical records Social Security needs to make a decision
- Whether Social Security decides to order an additional medical exam to verify any information in your application
What Information You Should Submit With Your Application
If you are applying for Social Security disability as a Wounded Warrior and hoping for expedited review and processing, make sure you submit all the following supporting documents with your application:
- An original or certified copy of your birth certificate, or another form of proof that you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- Your DD-214 if you have been discharged from the military
- Your most recent year’s income tax return or W2 statement
- Proof that you receive military pay or workers’ compensation
- The Social Security numbers of your spouse and dependents
- Your bank account numbers
- The name, phone number, and address of the person you wish for Social Security to contact if you are not available
- Medical records (Social Security will request additional records, as necessary, from the facilities where you have undergone treatment)
How to Apply for Social Security Disability
Social Security provides several ways to apply for disability benefits:
- You may apply online at the Social Security website: www.ssa.gov.
- You may apply via telephone by calling 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment.
- You may apply in person at your local Social Security office.
Receive a Free Case Evaluation With a Social Security Disability Lawyer—Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 866-628-8179
The Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, want to help you get approved for disability benefits as a Wounded Warrior.
We can help you put together a strong application and ensure it receives expedited processing. Keep in mind, we do not charge a fee until you start receiving benefits. Call 866-628-8179 for your free case evaluation.