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SSA announces new expedited claims process for veterans

There has been some good news recently from the Social Security Administration regarding the benefits process for veterans, but it still leaves some veterans skeptical.

The SSA announced they will expedite the disability claim process for any veterans deemed 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This announcement could affect tens of thousands of veterans over time. As of 2012, there were about 360,000 fully disabled veterans. That number is about 10 percent of all the veterans who get VA disability benefits. 

The idea is that these veterans will be added to the high-priority list. The result may mean waiting only days or weeks for a decision instead of months or even years. As a point of reference, it takes on average 168 days for an initial VA claim to process. If a veteran plans to appeal, that can take years.

Although this is a step in the right direction, not everyone is convinced. One veteran says although the SSA is very good at announcing their plans to change, they aren’t so good at actually implementing them.

The Social Security Administration says although this change will give veterans a faster answer, it will not make them more likely to receive disability benefits.

Whether a person is filing their first claim or appealing a denial, the combination of having to deal with a disability and having to sort through all the paperwork may seem impossible. That’s why many people in Michigan turn to Social Security disability lawyers to help them navigate the process. With their help, along with the new expedited process, there is hope that a veteran will get the benefits they deserve in a timely fashion.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Social Security to expedite veteran disability claims,” Yvonne Wenger and John Fritze, Feb. 18, 2014

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