Social Security Disability Benefits for Wounded Veterans

If you are a wounded military veteran and are unable to work because of your injury, you may be eligible for expedited claims processing that can help you receive Social Security disability benefits more quickly. Because Social Security disability benefits are different from the benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, you must fill out a separate application to receive disability benefits from Social Security.

Expedited processing is available for members of the U.S. military service who became disabled during active military service on or after October 1, 2001. It does not matter where the disability occurred.

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disabled:

  • Because of a medical condition, you cannot do substantial work, and
  • Your medical condition has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year, or is expected to lead to your death

To determine if you meet the disability requirements, medical and vocational experts who work with the SSA will review your claim along with your medical records. They may also ask you to have a medical examination or undergo testing, which you will not be required to pay for.

If the SSA determines that you are disabled, certain members of your family may also be able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of your disability. Depending on the circumstances, eligible family members may include your spouse, former spouse, children, stepchildren or grandchildren.

Employment History

To qualify for disability benefits through Social Security, you must be "insured." This means that you have earned a certain number of "credits" by working at jobs that pay taxes into the Social Security system. In most cases, Social Security taxes are taken directly out of your paycheck, so you accumulate credits throughout your career simply by working. The amount of your disability benefit payments depends on your earnings.

Even if you are still on active duty or receiving pay from the military, or receiving treatment from a military facility, you may still be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. For more information about your eligibility or for help submitting a claim, contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer in your area.