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Fully disabled veterans' SSD claims to be fast-tracked

Wisconsin military veterans and their peers nationwide who have been deemed fully disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are reportedly in for some good and long-awaited news.

Media outlets are reporting that the Social Security Administration will begin expediting those veterans’ Social Security Disability claims starting next month.

That means, according to an account in the Baltimore Sun, that applicable SSD applications will be sped up “at virtually every step of the process.”

The practical effect, as noted by a Maryland congressman who has advocated strongly for vets, is this: Vets who file claims could be seen within mere days of doing so for an initial interview, with an eligibility determination being made in a week or less.

That timing contrasts strongly, of course, with what awaits for disabled persons making claims who are not sent to the front of the claimants’ line on a fast-track basis. For many of them (especially those without strong representation from an experienced SSD attorney), an initial determination can take many months. Subsequent steps in the process, such as appeals, can tack on years.

The expedited process will only be available for fully disabled service members. Veterans with less than 100 percent disability ratings from the VA will continue to have their SSD claims processed in standard fashion.

Although the amount of claims that will be fast-tracked cannot be precisely stated, Social Security Administration officials estimate a very high number, given that several hundred thousand veterans are currently receiving disability benefits from the VA.

For most people, the SSD application and claims process continues to be a long and complex procedure encompassing many steps. A proven SSD attorney can help clarify and expedite the process at every stage, as well as provide rigorous representation aimed at securing the highest level of benefits.

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

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