Some veterans will now have their Social Security disability benefits expedited

World War II and Korean War veteran Charlie Hoffman, 92, takes part in Festival on the Fourth festivities at World's Fair Park on Thursday, July, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn.


By JON HARPER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — The federal government has launched a new process to expedite Social Security disability claims for a special category of veterans, the Social Security Administration announced Tuesday.

Under the new system, veterans with a VA disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total will have their applications for Social Security disability benefits processed faster, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors.

“We have reached another milestone for those who have sacrificed so much for our country, and this process ensures they will get the benefits they need quickly,” acting Social Security commissioner Carolyn Colvin said in a news release. “While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, we can be sure we provide them with the quality of service that they deserve. This initiative is truly a lifeline for those who need it most.”

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., who introduced legislation in Congress to promote the initiative, praised the change.

“No one wants to put America’s veterans through a bureaucratic runaround,” he said in the release. “As the baby boomer generation ages and more veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan need care, this common sense change will help reduce backlogs and cut through unnecessary red tape so that our most disabled veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

To receive the expedited service, veterans must inform Social Security that they have a 100 percent Permanent and Total disability compensation rating and provide a copy of their VA Notification Letter as proof of their disability rating.

Having the 100 percent rating does not guarantee that a veteran’s application for Social Security disability benefits will be approved; it only ensures that the claims process will be expedited for them. Veterans must meet strict Social Security eligibility requirements to receive a disability allowance, according to Social Security.

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