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Disabled veterans needs addressed by Social Security Administration

Since the events of Sept. 11, we have heard news reports of the number of injuries to our service men and women. In previous wars, soldiers died. In modern wars, soldiers still die, but many more survive their injuries and are left with permanent disabilities.

It was recently reported that the Social Security Administration is working on a pilot program to streamline the process by which those with a disability due to injuries will be able to take advantage of their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

According to a Social Security public affairs officer, the main idea behind the speedy delivery of SSDI benefits is close communication between the Social Security Administration and the Department of Defense. In a nutshell, the electronic medical records from the DoD are made available electronically and directly to the SSA sites which require them.

The pilot phase of the program involved Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and the state of Washington. Initial reports claim that the SSA facilities in those states are getting DoD medical records within 72 hours versus the previous time frame of five weeks.

There are high hopes for this system of direct DoD and SSA communication. The benefits are expected to be:

  • Faster delivery of records
  • Reduction in the time to make a decision
  • Reduction in the number of consultative exams needed

The Disabled American Veterans non-profit organization reports 1.4 million members. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, there are 257,100 veterans who are 100 percent disabled. Those statistics indicate that there are no doubt a number of veterans who would appreciate a more efficient and speedier way to obtain their SSDI benefits.

Source: Cincinnati.com, "Improved process for wounded warriors applying for disability benefits," Sue Denny, May 23, 2012

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