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SSD claims and service members still receiving military pay

For Tennesseans who are suffering from an injury, illness or condition that came about as a result of their service in the military, the Social Security Administration has special programs that will suit these individuals. There are often questions about receiving Social Security disability benefits for Wounded Warriors. One issue that frequently comes up is whether military pay will influence the eligibility or if it will negatively affect SSD claims. Understanding this and other potential concerns is important when a person who suffered war-related injuries is seeking benefits.

In general, those who are on active duty and getting military pay will not have it influence their ability to receive disability benefits. A mistake that many military members make is failing to apply for benefits simply because they believe that they cannot get them due to their military status. For a person who is being treated at a military medical facility and works in a designated therapy program or is on limited duty, the SSA will examine the work activity to decide on the eligibility. An applicant cannot get SSD benefits if there is substantial work done for profit. The work activity is what is counted, not the pay or the military status.

When applying, the SSA must receive documentation about the following: the age of the applicant, employment, proof of citizenship, any information related to the impairments and the treatment being received. Even those who do not have various documents should still apply. The documents can be provided later. This applies to the birth certificate or proof of citizenship in the U.S. or legal residency in the U.S.; Form DD 214 for those who have been discharged from the military; a W-2 or income tax return from the previous year; proof of pay from the military or workers' compensation; Social Security numbers of the applicant's spouse and minor children; account numbers for savings or checking accounts; the information for someone to contact in the event the applicant is not available; and medical records that can be acquired from treating medical professionals.

Veterans benefits and Social Security disability benefits can be confusing. Those who are suffering from a medical issue due to their military service should understand that they have the right to seek disability benefits even if they are still getting military pay. If there is any concern about veterans' disability benefits, a legal professional can assist with a claim.

Source: ssa.gov, "Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors, pages 8-10," accessed on Feb. 20, 2017

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