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Disability Insurance and Veterans
Posted in: News on November 16th, 2012

For many Americans suffering disability and illness, the Social Security Disability Insurance program can be their only lifeline to financial help. However, the program is backlogged with applicants and many people spend a year or more on a waiting list for approval. Even then thousands are denied disability benefits. For veterans, this scenario is all too familiar as many sit for months hoping their benefits will come through.

Slow Services

Veterans can receive benefits under either of two programs, SSDI and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Disability Compensation Program. In most cases, veterans choose the VA program as it tends to have an higher acceptance rate and increase benefit funds than does SSDI. However, a recent report suggests that nearly 900,000 veterans with disabilities are currently awaiting approval for benefits.

A report released by Allsup documents that the VA disability program is severely backlogged, indicating that the recent surge in applications is to blame. At the end of 2011, 3.4 million veterans were receiving disability benefits under the VA program. There has been a 50% increase in applications since the end of 2008. In 2012, the VA program processed more than 1 million disability claims of veterans.  The average wait time is reported to be 259 days from the time of application to the time of decision.

In order to rectify these issues, the Department of Veterans Affairs is urging veterans to take additional steps, including:

  • Seeking help with determining eligibility prior to filing.
  • Obtain a doctor’s agreement on the nature of the current disability, to be submitted with the application.
  • Have organized documentation of diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the current disability in hand.
  • File as soon as possible.

For more information, visit: http://www.allsup.com/portals/4/AVDAS-Report-for-Veterans-Day.pdf.

 

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