The United States House of Representatives is currently considering a bill which, if it passes, will erase the waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for members of the U.S. military who were wounded in combat. The bill appears to have bipartisan support in Congress, so it may have a good chance of becoming law.
The proposed Social Security Disability bill , called the Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act, would take the form of an amendment to Title II of the Social Security Act. Under the bill, active-duty or Reserve military service men and women and National Guard members who are injured in a combat zone will be exempted from the standard five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability payments.
According to the bill's proponents, the new law would streamline much-needed disability benefit payments to veterans who are critically injured in combat and unable to work as a result. The bill would not provide for an automatic approval of veterans' SSD applications or make them more eligible, and does not appear that it will increase the chances of fraud or abuse of the Social Security Disability program. It simply speeds up the receipt of benefits for veterans whose SSD applications were approved.
The bill has received support from several veterans organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
It remains to be seen if and when the SSD bill will be approved and put into law. We will continue to update our Social Security Disability blog with any new developments.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Disabled Veterans National Foundation Supports Bill That Would Speed Disability Payments to Veterans Wounded in Combat," Nov. 6, 2012
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