Any military service member in Oregon and around the country may apply for Social Security disability on active duty or after discharge. Applications by wounded warriors are handled more quickly and are separate from VA disability programs.
Disability benefits are paid by Social Security through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or through a disability insurance program to service members who have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for “insurance.”
Disability determination is based on work ability and how long a disability has lasted or is expected to last. Being on active military status and receiving pay does not necessarily disqualify a service member from receiving benefits.
Although applying online or in person is possible without the following documents, Social Security recommends that as many as possible accompany the application to speed the claim’s process:
- Available medical records
- Birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship
- Military discharge form
- Proof of pay and recent tax return
- Bank account and family Social Security numbers
Military service claims are handled through state Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices who contact healthcare providers and, if needed, order exams or tests. The speed of the claim’s process depends on the type of disability and how long it takes to gather supporting evidence.
The following family members may also apply for benefits:
- A spouse over age 61
- A spouse who is the parent of a service member’s child, if the child is under age 16 or disabled
- An unmarried child under age 18 or age 19, if a full-time secondary student
- An adopted child, stepchild or grandchild in certain circumstances
- An unmarried child 18 or older who is disabled before age 22
- An ex-spouse, under certain age, marriage and divorce limitations
The disability benefits application process can be time consuming and confusing for many Oregon residents. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help guide returning service members and their families through the process to make sure that the veterans their dependents receive the benefits that they are entitled to.
Source: Social Security Online, “Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors.”