Military service members can receive expedited processing of their disability claims from the Social Security
Administration. The expedited process is used for military service members who became disabled while on
active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred.
To be found disabled:
• you must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical conditions; and
• your medical conditions must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.
Some programs provide benefits to applicants with partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security
To apply for benefits, you or your representative must provide information and documentation about your age,
employment, citizenship, and information regarding your medical condition and related treatment. The Social
Security Administration will make every reasonable effort to help you get the necessary medical evidence. You
or your representative will need to provide the following documents to the Social Security Administration:
• Form DD 214, if discharged from military service;
• W-2 form or income tax return from the previous year;
• Proof of military pay or worker’s compensation;
• Social Security numbers of your spouse and minor children;
• Checking and savings account number, if you have one;
• Name, address, and phone number of a contact person, in case you are unavailable; and
• Medical records that you have or that you can easily obtain from all military and civilian resources.
It is important for your claim to file your application for disability benefits as soon as possible with any
documents that are readily available to you. Do not delay filing for disability, even if you do not have all of the
documents listed above.
Once the Social Security Administration receives your application, it will be marked as a Military
Casualty/Wounded Warrior file and expedited through all stages of the disability decision process as a critical
case. If you receive Veterans Benefits, you are not automatically entitled to Social Security disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration (VA) are separate agencies with separate
rules for what they consider to be disabled. The Social Security Administration will review any medical
records from the VA, but the percentage or rating the VA may have determined was your disability may have
little bearing on the Social Security Administration’s decision. However, the Social Security Administration is
required to give some weight to a determination of disability by the VA.
Certain members of your family may qualify for benefits based on your work. They include:
• Your spouse, if he or she is age 62 or older;
• Your spouse, at any age, if he or she is caring for a child of yours who is younger than age 16 or
• Your unmarried child, including adopted children, or a stepchild or grandchild. Such child must be
younger than age 18 or younger than age 19 if in elementary or secondary school full time; and
• Your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.