Military service members may be entitled to disability benefits from both the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Eligibility criteria differ under each Agency’s program and a separate application for benefits must be filed with each Agency.  See  https://www.ssa.gov/people/veterans/ww.html#1

GET YOUR CASE EXPEDITED:    The Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior Program (MC/WW) is designed to identify and expedite Social Security disability claims filed by military veterans.  MC/WW is administered by SSA and is not affiliated with VA service-connected disability benefits or other benefits available through the VA.

Veterans seeking expedited review of their Social Security disability application must meet the following criteria:

  1. sustained an illness, injury or wound;
  2. is alleging a physical or mental impairment regardless of how or where it occurred; and
  3. sustained the impairment while on “active duty” status on or after October 1,2001, including:
    • claimants on full-time duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, including those on active duty for training;
    • students at U.S. Military Academies and pre-deployment training facilities;
    • claimants in the National Guard (Army or Air Force) ordered to active federal full-time duty by the President during times of war or national emergency; and
    • claimants in reserve components of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who are called to active duty, including those performing full-time training, annual training, or attending school designated as a Military Service School by law or by the applicable Secretary of the claimant’s branch of service.

CLAIMANTS ARE ABLE TO APPLY WHILE IN MILITARY STATUS OR POST-DISCHARGE.  A Social Security disability application can be filed whether the claimant is hospitalized, in a rehabilitation program, or undergoing outpatient treatment in a military or civilian medical facility.   Impairments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), which may not become disabling until after discharge from service, qualify for expedited treatment under the MC/WW program.

CLAIMANTS SHOULD TELL SSA THEY QUALIFY AT THE TIME THEIR APPLICATION IS FILED. Although the Department of Defense updates the Social Security Administration regularly about wounded military service members, any veteran who believes she qualifies for expedited review pursuant to MC/WW guidelines should clarify her contention when filing an application for Social Security disability benefits.

QUALIFYING FOR THE PROGRAM DOES NOT GUARANTEE BENEFITS. Keep in mind that status as a service member who qualifies for expedited review pursuant to MC/WW guidelines does not guarantee a grant of benefits.  Such a claimant must still demonstrate that their physical and/or mental impairments are expected to last at least one year or result in death and render them incapable of performing any substantial work.

CALL AVARD LAW FOR ASSISTANCE.  Contact Avard Law Offices for assistance with Social Security disability benefits.  Be sure to let us know if you believe you qualify for expedited review under the MC/WW program.  We will work with the Agency to be sure your claim is properly handled under the terms of the program.

For more information on disability benefits for wounded warriors, consult the Social Security Administration’s booklet “Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors” at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10030.pdf.