On deployment, during training or just participating in day-to-day activities, military service members may suffer serious injuries. If their injuries will keep them from performing their job duties for 12 months or more, they may consider applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Separate from their benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Disability Insurance may provide injured military service members support during difficult times.
Qualifying for disability benefits
According to the SSA, injured military service members may qualify for SSDI if they cannot perform substantial work because of their medical conditions. Additionally, their conditions must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months. They may also qualify for benefits if their conditions may likely result in death.
Working while receiving benefits
Returning to work or staying on active duty does not necessarily mean veterans will not qualify for benefits or will lose their benefits. Rather, they may participate in the SSA’s work incentive programs to test their ability to reenter the workforce without risking their SSDI.
Changes in their work status may affect the benefits of service members still on active duty who receive SSDI. Therefore, service members who receive benefits must report changes in their occupational specialties or duty stations to Social Security.
Receiving expedited processing
According to Social Security, injured military service members may receive expedited processing of SSD applications. The SSA may move forward applications of veterans who meet the VA requirements for 100% permanent and total disability compensation. Veterans may self-report their VA ratings when applying; however, the administration automatically identifies most such applications.
Suffering incapacitating injuries in the line of service may thwart service members’ careers, as well as affect their ability to support themselves and their families. However, SSDI benefits may offer some much-needed financial support.