Military service members can receive expedited processing of disability applications from Social Security Administration under a special program called Wounded Warriors. To qualify for the expedited process, military service members must have become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred. To be found disabled for Social Security benefits, the military service member must be unable to do substantial work because of his or her medical condition and the medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death. It is important to note that Social Security disability benefits are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and require a separate application.

Similarly, veterans who meet the VA 100% Permanent and Total disability compensation rating may receive expedited processing for Social Security disability benefits.  However, a VA compensation rating of 100% does not guarantee a military service member Social Security disability benefits. Military Service members must meet the above definition of disability in order to qualify.  Receipt of VA compensation will not affect a military service member’s potential eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.