Disability Claims Process Streamlined for Fully Disabled Veterans
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 - On February 19, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a new policy to expedite some high-priority disability claims.
Hopefully, these changes are already helping former members of the military who are awaiting a determination on benefits eligibility.
The new policy went into effect in March. Under it, SSA will accelerate the claims process for veterans who have been classified as fully disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Fully disabled veterans, or those with a 100 percent disability rating, will be prioritized, as will other groups, including service members who were wounded in combat.
“The Social Security Administration’s decision to expedite claims for fully disabled veterans is a welcome development,” said David Magann, a prominent Social Security attorney based in Tampa, Florida. “Fully disabled veterans have not only suffered serious injuries while serving their country; they also face an added, especially difficult struggle to find gainful employment when they return home.”
In 2012, SSA estimated that fully disabled veterans accounted for 10 percent of all veterans who received benefits from the VA. It has also been estimated that nearly 11 million people collect Social Security disability benefits in the United States (compared with 7.6 million recipients 10 years ago).
In Florida, 1,683,899 veterans represent one of the largest concentrations of former members of the military nationwide. Of that total, 262,072, or 15.5 percent, are receiving disability compensation or pension payments, according to the most recent figures from 2010. The VA’s total expenditures in the Sunshine State stood at $7.2 billion.
It remains to be seen how many people will benefit from the new policy, but the Administration estimates that it could be tens of thousands.
“Combat veterans bear not only serious battlefield injuries, but also lingering, debilitating conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. The last thing they need when they leave the service is to face a social safety net that cannot promptly meet their needs,” Magann said. “This change represents a step in the right direction.”
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
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