Many veterans make a significant sacrifice during their service. They risk their life and limb while serving their country, and when they return, it is right and fitting that we provide support for those who have been injured in that service. From obvious physical injuries, like lost limbs from IEDs and gunshot wounds, to the less obvious, but equally debilitating psychological impairments, they are left unable to return to their prior jobs or obtain new ones.
Too often, upon returning, they would receive a disability rating from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). One would think this would allow them to easily apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. This, however, is not the case.
One problem is the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) backlog in claims processing. The rising number of applications for SSDI has meant a nearly constant backlog for the last decade or more, and while SSA has been able to reduce it at time, it is still averages more than three months in most parts of the country.
If you need to appeal a denial, the time can increase to a year or more. With this as a backdrop, the SSA has announced new plans to move veterans’ claims to the high-priority list that receives an expedited review.
Of course, this does not lower the eligibility requirements for veterans, meaning it is just as important as ever to obtain assistance when assembling your SSDI application. The change will mean your claim will be looked a more quickly, but it will still be denied if it is missing documentation or other necessary information.