eHealth Exchange helps vets get SSD benefits faster

Veterans in Minnesota who must apply for Social Security Disability may now be able to get their benefits faster thanks to a new program.

Many veterans in Minnesota have experienced challenges in receiving Social Security Disability benefits when they deserve them. One of the problems historically has been very long wait times before benefits are approved and begin to be paid. This has been due in part to a reliance on manual processing.

According to DisabledVets.org, some vets have literally waited months simply for the Veteran's Administration to provide necessary records to the Social Security Administration. This is an integral step in receiving necessary benefits. Now, the VA and SSA have worked together to launch a new program to address this issue.

Electronic process replaces manual one

Instead of manually processing information and sending it via U.S. mail or fax to the SSA, the VA will now send records to the SSA electronically. This change is expected to dramatically reduce the amount of time disabled veterans must be required to wait before receiving a decision on their Social Security Disability benefits.

Persons who participate in the Wounded Warrior Project are already able to take advantage of electronic processing and the reduced turnaround time. The new eHealth Exchange program will expand that benefit to more veterans in their times of need.

SSA information needs for disability decisions

In order to make decisions about disability benefits, the Social Security Administration must review many things about a case. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, this includes reviewing medical information. In the case of veterans, this may often come from the Veteran's Administration and associated hospitals.

The State Medical Review Team will look at records to make final determinations about a person's status as being disabled or blind. Some factors reviewed when approving or denying requests for SSD include whether or not the person is currently working or is currently able to work in the capacity they had prior to a reported disability. The SMRT also considers whether or not a person may be able to work in a different capacity. Some conditions are on a list of approved disabilities but not all may be.

Disabilities eligible for SSD must be long term, not short term, with the expectation of lasting a minimum of 12 months or causing the death of the person. Veterans who are initially denied SSD benefits may appeal those decisions.

Help with SSD is important for veterans

Veterans in Minnesota deserve to know that help is available to them when they need it. Talking to an attorney when disability strikes is recommended for help in processing SSD requests.