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H.R. 6445 May Help Wounded Warriors Get Quicker Access to SSDI

Posted on Nov 30, 2012

To receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have been disabled continuously for a period of at least five months. This ensures that the Social Security Administration does not pay benefits to people without long-term disabilities. Typically, Social Security payments start on the sixth month after the disability began.

Two congressmen are working across party lines to make sure that veterans injured in combat zones can get quicker access to SSDI benefits. In October, U.S. Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) introduced the Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act, H.R. 6445, an amendment to title II of the Social Security Act. If passed, this bill would exempt service members who are wounded in combat zones from the usual five-month waiting period. It would affect active-duty, Reserve and National Guard service members.

Service members who are seriously wounded in combat are typically sent home to recover. Many have dedicated their lives to the military and are unable to continue their military careers. A serious disability makes it difficult to find a civilian job.

Disabled service members are eligible to apply for SSDI in addition to VA disability benefits. For many wounded service members, these benefits are vital for the support of their families. H.R. 6445 would allow soldiers to concentrate on recovering from their injuries rather than worrying about financial matters.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law