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What are some of the most difficult problems veterans face?

After serving our nation and risking their lives, United States veterans often end their time with the military without the preparation they need to readjust to civilian life. These problems are difficult -- if not impossible -- to overcome without help and assistance from medical doctors and psychologists in their communities. This is why it's so essential that veterans receive all the medical care and other veteran's benefits that they deserve.

Here are a few of the most difficult problems a veteran might face, which can have a serious impact on their ability to find employment and feel psychologically healthy after they have returned from service:

  • Loss of self-identity, lack of purpose and a lack of self-worth.
  • Difficulty finding new life goals and ambition.
  • Finding themselves trying to start over in society while not having a clear view of where they stand.
  • Lacking respect and authority in the real world after losing their rank.
  • Suffering from the psychological shadow effects of difficult situations. These can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, survivor's guilt and substance abuse.
  • Permanent physical and mental injuries, some of which could have related disabilities, scars, disfigurement and amputation that affect the individual's self-image and ability to hold a normal job.

A history of the Social Security Disability program

The Social Security Administration is a vital aid to people with mental and physical disabilities. These individuals, if they are unable to have jobs and earn incomes, may be able to receive benefits to help them pay for their living expenses. In order to qualify for these benefits, however, applicants need to have worked and paid into the Social Security system an adequate number of years.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits have existed since 1956. It is designed to aid only people who have severe disabilities that are expected to prevent them from obtaining gainful employment for at least a year or whose conditions are expected to lead to death. This was always designed to be difficult to obtain and highly restrictive because otherwise it would be used too often as a form of unemployment insurance.

Can a discharged veteran with war-related mental illness sue?

There is nothing worse than risking life and limb to defend your country, but when returning to the United States, being treated like a second-class citizen, denied the care you require and being forced onto the streets. Nevertheless, this has happened to countless U.S. war veterans who developed mental health problems from their military service careers. Some of these individuals may have the right to sue the military.

In November 2018, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled that Navy and Marine Corps Veterans who were discharged because of incidents caused by untreated mental illness could be on the right side of the law. Because their discharges were not honorable discharges, these veterans were denied future VA benefits, which would have allowed them to get medical care to treat their service-generated mental health problems that led to their discharges.

Why does Social Security want to know about my work history?

Through the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, applicants will be required to complete various forms to the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are forms that ask for information about medical treatment and providers. The SSA wants this information in order to determine if the applicant is receiving treatment for disabling conditions and to obtain records from these facilities. The SSA will also ask applicants to complete a form that asks a series of questions about their symptoms and the manner in which their disability(ies) interfere with daily life. This form is intended to allow the applicant to describe in their own words the impact of their disability. Additionally, the Social Security Administration will ask you to complete a questionnaire regarding your work history.

Digestive System Disorders and Disability

The United States Code of Federal Regulations contains an enumeration of disabling conditions and the clinical criteria that must be demonstrated for each condition. Satisfying these criteria should amount in an award of disability benefits. These impairments are known more colloquially in disability law circles as the "listed impairments".

To meet the listing criteria for a digestive impairment, the SSA will require clinical and laboratory findings in addition to the diagnosis itself. The SSA will want to see medical records pertaining to imaging studies and reports of endoscopy, operations, and pathology where appropriate. Reports form these procedures offer solid objective evidence not only of a given disorder, but of the severity level.

Pursuing a Social Security disability claim for mental health

The U.S. federal government created the Social Security program to support some of our nation's most vulnerable people -- the ones who are disabled and unable to earn an income for themselves. Through the Social Security Disability benefits program, someone who is too ill or disabled either physically or mentally can file an application to receive helpful financial support that enables them to be independent members of society.

When filing a claim for a mental health problem, here's what benefits applicants and those who are helping them need to know:

What are Social Security Disability work credits?

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD), workers need to have earned what are called "work credits." These are proof that you have worked a sufficient amount and paid a sufficient amount into the Social Security system to receive disability benefits under the law. Work credits are awarded at a maximum of four per year.

Each year, the amount of money a worker must earn within a year to gain Social Security credits goes up. In 2011, the amount required to earn one Social Security credit was $1,120, so to earn four in that year, it was a total of $4,480. In 2012, it went up to $1,130 and to earn four, it was $4,520. All that being said, the worker must have completed what's called "covered employment," which means Social Security taxes were required to be paid for the employment.

What if my illness isn't on the list of qualifying disbabilities?

The list of medical conditions that automatically qualify you to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) is fairly long. However, this list still does not include all the medical conditions that might establish your right to receive these vital government benefits. Therefore, if you're seriously ill, you'll want to record every aspect of your medical condition as best as you can by saving all documentation related to your doctors' visits, especially with regard to written diagnoses and the opinions of your doctors.

Here is what you need to do to qualify for SSD benefits if your condition is not on the list of "qualifying" medical conditions maintained by the agency:

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Coon Rapids, MN 55448
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