Social Security provides service to those who serve

On Nov. 11, we honor our nation’s veterans for their service to America. What better time than now to tell you — and for you to help spread the word — about the many benefits and wealth of information Social Security has available for veterans and military personnel?

Social Security recognizes those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms. Members of the armed forces receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability applications. The expedited process is available for any military service member who became disabled during active duty on or after Oct. 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs. Some dependent children and spouses of military personnel may also be eligible to receive benefits.

Visit our website designed specifically for our wounded veterans at There, you will find answers to a number of commonly asked questions, as well as other useful information about disability benefits available under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. Please pay special attention to the fact sheet available on that website, Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors.

You’ll also find a webinar that explains the expedited disability process available to wounded warriors. The program covers general information about Social Security disability benefits as well as topics unique to wounded service members. The online video is less than three minutes and a great introduction to disability benefits for veterans and active duty military.

On the same Web page, you’ll also find links to useful Veterans Affairs and Defense departments websites. The requirements for disability benefits available through Social Security are different from the Veterans Affairs Department’s and require a separate application.

Military service members are covered for the same Social Security survivors, disability and retirement benefits as everyone else. Although the expedited service is relatively new, military personnel have been covered under Social Security since 1957, and people who were in the service before that may be able to get special credit for some of their service.

To learn more about Social Security for current and former military service members, read Military Service and Social Security. It’s available in our digital library at

But first, take a look at the wounded warrior page at The webinar, fact sheet and pertinent links will brief you on everything you need to know to “maneuver” your way through the Social Security process.

Serving those who serve our country is not limited to a month or holiday for Social Security. Social Security serves the military on a daily basis.

People in the military have been covered under Social Security since 1957. Even people in the service before 1957 may receive special credit for some of their service. People in the military are covered for the same survivors, disability and retirement benefits as everyone else.

A person’s Social Security benefit depends on earnings, averaged over a lifetime. Generally, the higher your earnings, the higher your Social Security benefit.

Under certain circumstances, special earnings can be credited to your military pay record for Social Security purposes. The extra earnings are for periods of active duty or active duty for training. These extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.

But you don’t have to call us ahead of time; Social Security will add these extra earnings to your earnings record when you file for benefits.

Today, and always, we at Social Security honor those who serve by serving them.

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