Understanding Past Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
January 26, 2016

A federal program that grants disability benefits to those who cannot work because of a medical condition, Social Security Disability Insurance was created for those with long-term disablements that severely affect one’s ability to work.

For example, a veteran files an application for Social Security disability benefits in December 2015, but the disability started in April 2014. If the condition improved by September 2014, then this period is referred to as a closed period of disability eligible for Past Disability Benefits.

These same benefits and more are available to service men and women and their families. As a wounded warrior, eligibility for expedited processing of any disability claim is available, as is a Past Disability Benefit.

Past Disability Benefits are offered to veterans and active duty members who would like to receive benefits for a disability that might have already improved. To become eligible, medical evidence must be in place that establishes a military member was unable to engage in the work force for 12 continual months. That military member must file the application within 14 months of the date that the disability ended.

A five-month waiting period must also come into play. The waiting period begins the first full month that a warrior is disabled. Thus, the first months for which a service member can begin receiving payments and benefits is the fifth month following the disability.

Applying for disability benefits can take place any time while in military status or after discharge. Military members can apply online here, in person at the nearest Social Security office, by mail or by telephone.

Additionally, expedited processing of a claim can be used for military service members who become disabled during active duty on or after October 1, 2001.

Certain members of military families may also be eligible including a spouse over the age of 62; a spouse who is caring for a member’s child who is disabled or under the age of 16; any unmarried children below the age of 18; an unmarried child over the age of 18 with a disability that began before 22; adopted children, stepchildren, or grandchildren may also qualify in some cases.

Additionally, as long as a military member alerts the Administration, Social Security Disability Benefits can still be paid out should the military member remain on active duty after filing for disability.

Eligibility Team
Written by
Eligibility Team
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