A new policy expedites Social Security benefits claims applications for military veterans suffering total and permanent disabilities. In the year following reports that the backlog of pending disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs hit an all-time high of more than 611,000, the agency responded to mounting criticism by working to reduce that number of pending claims by 44 percent to about 344,000 last month. New reports show that veterans also now are waiting an average 119 days less for a decision on their claims than they were a year ago.
While those improvements certainly are welcome, there remains room for improvement – lots of it, say veterans’ disability benefits attorneys. Now, America’s military veterans suffering total and permanent disability finally are getting the attention they deserve from the VA and the Social Security Administration, thanks to a new policy of fast-tracking Social Security benefit claims from veterans with permanent and total disability. Claims of those meeting strict requirements will have their applications treated as high priority claims warranting expedited decisions. “We have reached another milestone for those who have sacrificed so much for our country and this process ensures they will get the benefits they need quickly,” said acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin. “While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, we can be sure we provide them with the quality of service that they deserve. This initiative is truly a lifeline for those who need it most.”
To qualify for the expedited claims process, veterans must have a VA disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total and must show their VA notification letter as proof of that disability rating. Note that the VA rating simply expedites the Social Security disability claims processing. It does not guarantee an approval for disability benefits. “No one wants to put America’s veterans through a bureaucratic runaround,” said Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes in a media release issued by the Social Security Administration. “As the baby boomer generation ages and more veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan need care, this common sense change will help reduce backlogs and cut through unnecessary red tape so that our most disabled veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned.”
If you’re a veteran suffering a service-related disability and have had your claim for benefits denied or delayed, or if you disagree with your VA rating, veterans’ disability benefits attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell can help. We are dedicated to helping those who have sacrificed so much for our country to secure the benefits they so richly deserve. Call 800-251-1111 to schedule a consultation today.