February 7, 2018

Social Security Provides Updates on Service for Veterans Who Apply for Disability Benefits

The House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing on “Ensuring Social Security Serves America’s Veterans” on Feb. 7, 2018.

“Americans across the board are waiting far too long for a disability hearing and Social Security must get the backlog under control,” said committee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX). “But today we will hear how Social Security speeds up disability claims for certain veterans.”

Gina Clemons, Social Security Administration (SSA) Associate Commissioner for the Office of Disability Policy, testified at the hearing. In written testimony, Clemons said the SSA’s disability programs can aid Wounded Warriors, other service members, and veterans with disabilities only if they are aware of the programs.

She cited SSA partnerships with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the VA with helping to raise awareness and speed up disability claims for eligible veterans.

  • In 2005, the SSA began providing expedited disability claims processing for Wounded Warriors—defined as any current or former service member who sustained an illness, injury, or wound while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001— regardless of where or how it occurred.
  • In, 2014, the SSA started expediting the claims for veterans who filed for SSA disability and had a VA compensation rating of 100 percent P&T (permanent and total) using a similar process.
  • As of December 29, 2017, the SSA had processed 172,272 Wounded Warrior claims at the initial level and 31,974 claims for veterans with a 100 percent P&T rating.
  • At the appeals level in FY 2017, the average SSA processing times (APT) for closed hearing cases are 237 days for Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior and 297 days for 100 percent P&T disability, compared to an overall APT of 605 days.

Allsup helps veterans obtain their SSDI benefits and also has VA accredited claims agents to help them appeal their VA disability claim if it has been denied or the rating is too low.

A video of the hearing is available here.

Written by

Rebecca Ray