People in the military are often required to put their lives at risk in defense of their country but they can also find themselves seriously injured or even disabled through other means such as a car accident, a fall from a ladder while fixing the roof or a natural disaster. What military people in Las Vegas may not know is that they might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
When a disabling condition is not military-related, people can still receive financial assistance through the Social Security Administration if the condition meets their qualifications. First, the disability must be one that is approved by the SSA such as the following:
- A hematological disorder like chronic anemia or sickle cell disease
- Neurological like epilepsy or cerebral palsy
- Congenital disorders including Down syndrome
- Immune system disorders such as lupus and autoimmune diseases
- Skin disorders like bullous disease or dermatitis
Certain mental disorders are also included in the list of conditions that are covered by the SSA for benefits as well as types of cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and even arthritis.
Once a person has determined that their condition is on the SSA’s list, the next step is to submit an application and meet the qualifying factors. First, applicants must show that they have worked a job that paid Social Security; military service would meet that qualification. Second, the condition must prevent the applicant from being able to work in their current position or in some other occupation. Third, the disability must be one that is permanent or that will last for at least a year or more.
To meet these factors, it is important for applicants to provide as much information about the disability as possible. People in the military should gather medical records, statements from family and friends, statements from commanding officers and even statements from other members of their military group that provide support to their claim. For example, a person with a permanent back injury could get a commander to write a letter which states that standing in formation is difficult or that sitting at a desk causes great pain.
Whether people in the military are injured through independent causes or in direct relation to their duties as a soldier, they can take advantage of the SSA’s Wounded Warrior program. The program allows people in the military to have a priority status on their SSD application if they were injured after October 2001. The status pushes the application ahead of others so that disabled military members receive a decision much quicker than the average applicant. Soldiers who are planning to file for SSD should meet with an experienced attorney for assistance.