A law student staffed pro bono clinic that helps disabled veterans apply for federal benefits is being held up by members of Congress as a national model for dealing with the massive backlog faced by the Veterans Administration. The clinic, at the College of William and Mary, was started in 2008, and has helped numerous vets obtain benefits who otherwise may not have been able to do so.
As Michigan vets face longer wait times due to the proliferation of disability claims, a bit of relief may be in sight if two Congressional bills are passed. Those bills, which have both passed the Senate Finance Committee, aim to provide property tax exemptions for veterans disabled in their military service.
One in six Americans, according to the Social Security Administration, currently receives some sort of Social Security benefits. In 2013, this means that 58 million people were involved in the program and that $821 billion in benefits was paid. For the average retired person, the average monthly benefit is over $1,200.
Social Security disability is a wonderful lifeline for those who are seriously impaired. But there is no doubt that Social Security payments are not that exciting. As of March 2013, the average disability payment was less than $1,130 per month. In addition, the approval process is lengthy, can be complicated, and only those who are prevented from working for at least one year are approved.
Those who read our blog know the importance that Social Security benefits and other supportive services offer to those with disabilities. This is especially true for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. All states offer some particular services to those with these conditions, but not all states perform at the same level.