Expedited Processing for Social Security Disability Benefits for for Wounded Warriors

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Wounded veterans can get faster expedited processing of their Social Security disability benefit cases (Disability Insurance – DIB, and supplemental security income – SSI) under the Wounded Warrior program.

Note: Social Security disability benefits may be in addition to any benefits paid by the VA.

To have the case flagged under this program (and receive critical case / dire need expedited processing) apply online through www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors, or at your local Social Security office.

After reading the online material, a question I had was whether expedited processing applies through the hearing level (if the case is denied) or only in the initial disability determination process. The initial application process is the short part of a disability claim taking about 4 to 6 months for a decision. On expedited cases, the initial decision is reached in about 2 months based on the cases I have seen. However, at the appeal stage, it can take 12 to 14 months (or longer) for a case to be scheduled with an Administrative Law Judge. If the expedited process only applied to the initial decision, it would not help veterans very much.

I contacted my local ODAR (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) appeals office. I was informed the expedited process applies through the hearing level as well and that the cases continue to be flagged as expedited.

However, to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to add a cover letter to the appeal specifically requesting expedited processing under the Wounded Warrior program.

CC photo credit: uhuru1701

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • Jamie

    If a wounded veteran makes a normal application (i.e. not specifically requesting Wounded Warrior expedited processing) and is denied, do you know if it is possible to get the case flagged as expedited under the program at the recon or hearing levels? Or does the request need to be made at the initial application?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I suspect so (but I do not know for sure). The appeals office can flag a file if it was not flagged at an earlier stage. Of course, the elephant in the room is the deadline on the appeal. http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2010/03/how-long-do-i-have-to-appeal-my-social-security-disability-denial/

    Check the denial for the specific time limits in your case. Good luck!

  • http://www.socialsecurity-disability.org/content/how-apply Get Disability

    It a nice leap ahead but is it not a little bit contradictory that on the one hand veterans have a quicker answer through the expedited processing and on the other hand it takes 12 to 14 for the appealing process?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Read it again :) I was worried that cases were only expedited during the initial evals at DDS. However, my local ODAR tells me the cases are expedited at the hrg level as well.

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