Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Social Security launches expedited disability process for veterans

Fast-tracking disability decisions for vets with 100 percent permanent and total rating

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[March 25, 2014]  BALTIMORE, Md.  Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security, announced the launch of a new disability process to expedite disability claims filed by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total. Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans' applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from veterans in the Wounded Warrior program.

"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," Colvin said. "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."

"No one wants to put America's veterans through a bureaucratic runaround," said John Sarbanes, a Maryland congressman and leading proponent for increasing assistance to veterans. "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."

In order to receive the expedited service, veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total and show proof of their disability rating with their VA notification letter.

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The VA rating only expedites Social Security disability claims processing and does not guarantee an approval for Social Security disability benefits. These veterans must still meet the strict eligibility requirements for a disability allowance.

For information about this service, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/disability-pt.htm.

For more about Social Security's handling of Wounded Warrior disability claims, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

[Text from Social Security Administration news release]

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