Today, the average wait time for a review on a claim for Social Security disability benefits is three months. As some New York residents know, if you have to appeal a decision, it can take much longer. While these long wait times are frustrating for everyone who applies for benefits, they can be especially infuriating for those who have already been deemed disabled by another governmental body.
Consider military veterans. Many veterans who live with disabilities already receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and many of them are listed as fully disabled by the VA. When these individuals seek additional benefits through Social Security, however, they have had to go through the same process as everyone else. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration recently announced plans to make things easier for veterans seeking benefits.
The SSA announced that it will expedite the disability claim review process for veterans who are considered fully disabled by the VA. Officials say the change could make the wait time weeks shorter for these individuals.
Of those who receive VA disability benefits, about 10 percent, or 360,000 people, are considered fully disabled. However, many may already receive Social Security disability benefits. SSA officials believe tens of thousands of people will be affected by the change, which will be implemented in March.
Of course, many people are thrilled with the announcement. It will get rid of a lot of bureaucratic red tape that has prevented many deserving veterans from getting the benefits they need quickly. Those in New York who will be affected by this change may still find it helpful to talk to an attorney. Submitting a complete application is still extremely important, and an attorney can help ensure you do.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Social Security to expedite veteran disability claims,” Yvonne Wegner and John Fritze, Feb. 18, 2014