In 2007, the Social Security Administration increased its efforts to assist those members and veterans of the US Armed Forces who were injured or became ill while on active duty since 2001 in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once of the programs implemented included giving special priority to wounded veterans by accelerating their claims for Social Security disability and/or supplemental security income benefits. Additionally, I believe the rules have be implemented to exclude "special pay" and/or "hostile fire pay" as "income" when it determines whether or not spouses and children of men or women serving in the Armed Forces are eligible for SSI.
In a recent report, the Social Security Administration found that in a majority of servicemen and women, called "wounded warriors", 60% of the wounded warriors found eligible for benefits suffered from a mental health disorder. This is in contrast to a 23% rate when taking into consideration all Title II disability Claims.
This same report found that at least 40% of the wounded warrior applications were filed a year or more after the onset date with nearly 25% filed approximately a year and a half or more after the onset date. This resulted in a loss of retroactive benefits. The report cited many reasons for this delay in applications. It was noted that many of our wounded warriors suffered traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. This may account for some of the delay in applying for benefits.
You may recall a previous article explaining that because SSI benefits are paid out of General Treasury of the United States, and not out of the claimants own account, these benefits are subject to reduction by a claimant's household income and resources. This would include income from spouses and or other financial resources such as bank accounts. Likewise, SSI benefits are reduced if a wounded warrior receives service connected disability compensation from the VA. However, it is important to note that TITLE II (SSD) benefits are not offset by a service-connected disability compensation. A wounded warrior may receive full TITLE II (SSD) disability benefits along with service-connected disability benefits from the VA. I believe that many not be the case if the wounded warrior is receiving non-service connected compensation from the VA.
This article, as area all of my articles, is not intended to serve as legal advice. Every claimant's case is unique. You are advised to consult with an attorney. You are invited to visit my website where some of my articles have been archived. My website address is www.davidkapor.com