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Veterans with disabilities may benefit from congressional bill

Our country now has an estimated 22.7 million veterans according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Thanks to modern technology and the recent war in Iraq and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, our country now has more veterans who are disabled with what would have been fatal injuries during WWII or the Viet Nam or Korean wars. The number of disabled veterans is up 25 percent since 2001 and now numbers nearly 3 million.

There is hopefully some good news for those disabled veterans who are applying for Social Security disability insurance benefits. The Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act (HR 6445) is seeking to shorten the waiting time for those applying for disability benefits. There appears to be bipartisan support for the congressional bill.

Currently, there is a five-month wait period between a claimant's approval and the first disability check. The Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act would eliminate that waiting period for any disabled service member who served in a combat zone.

In addition to bipartisan support, the house bill is supported by The Disabled Veterans National Foundation, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Veterans with disability tend to be those with physical injuries such as amputations or burns, although a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder can also qualify someone for disability.

A complete list of qualifying conditions is published by the Social Security Administration, although it is helpful to find an experienced legal professional to help navigate the application process and especially for any denials or appeals.

At the time of this posting, the bill is in committee and there is no scheduled date for a vote on HR 6445.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Disabled Veterans National Foundation Supports Bill That Would Speed Disability Payments to Veterans Wounded in Combat," Nov. 6, 2012

  • At our La Crosse law firm we represent veterans and other individuals who wish to obtain Social Security Disability benefits as compensation for disabling for physical injuries, mental conditions or illnesses.

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