If you are a service member who became disabled on or after October 1, 2001, and if your disability occurred you were on active duty, the Social Security Administration will expedite the claim processing of your Social Security disability application. Your disability does not have to be related to your military duty. If you are still on active duty, you may also file your social security disability application during your discharge processing, while you are assigned to an active duty Wounded Warrior unit.
You must inform the Social Security Administration when you file your Social Security disability application that your disability/medical condition started while you were on active duty. Additionally, the Social Security Administration requires you provide documentation of your military service with your Social Security disability application. The Social Security Administration classifies active duty as:
- Service members on full-time duty in the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard
- Service members on active duty for training purposes in the above branches
- Students at U.S. Military academies; students at pre-deployment training facilities
- Members of Army or Air Force National Guard units that have been ordered to active full time duty pursuant to an order from the President during a time of war or other national emergency
- Reservists called to active duty
- Reservists undergoing full-time training, annual training, and reservists attending a school designated as a Military Service School
The Social Security Administration will mark your Social Security disability application as an MC/WW file, which will then be expedited through all of the stages of the Social Security disability application determination and appeal process as a critical case. If you have a 100% disabled VA rating, you should be sure to also provide the decision letter with your Social Security disability application, and your Social Security disability application may then be even further expedited.
You should be aware that being a Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior does not change your Social Security disability eligibility for benefits. You must meet the same criteria as any other person who has filed a Social Security disability application. Most persons who file a Social Security disability application will have their claims denied, and you must be prepared to appeal that decision.
Don’t be surprised if this happens to you. You have been trained to fight for your country, and now you will need to fight for yourself.
Goss & Fentress has a proud tradition of over thirty years of representing disabled veterans win Social Security Disability appeals. We gained our experience representing veterans of the Vietnam War, and have been fighting for veterans ever since. Contact Goss & Fentress if you have become disabled while serving our country. It will be our honor and privilege to help you in your time of need.