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Does Your Length of Military Service Impact Your Social Security Eligibility?

Does Your Length of Military Service Impact Your Social Security Eligibility?

When facing a disability, veterans sometimes worry that they won’t meet the requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Some may have served just a few years in the military before entering the workforce as civilians. Others may have spent most of their career in the military and feel they have limited working years spent outside of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Fortunately, Social Security recognizes service in the military as gainful employment. This means that your work history—whether it’s in the civilian sector, the military or a combination of the two—will count toward the work credits you need in order to be considered “insured” by Social Security. 

SSDI requirements for veterans 

In fact, SSDI requirements are the same for both military veterans and those with no military background. You must: 

  • Demonstrate that you have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disabled—typically meaning that your condition makes it impossible to be gainfully employed for at least 12 months. 
  • You must have earned enough work credits over your career to qualify as insured. Earning up to four credits a year, you’ll need 40 to qualify—20 of which need to have been earned in the 10 years prior to becoming disabled. 

If you’re a veteran who can no longer work because of a disability, it may be helpful to have a disability lawyer assist you as you pursue your Social Security claim. While your military status will have no bearing on whether you receive SSDI, veterans should be aware of options for expedited processing and how income, including pensions, can affect payment. 

Disability Attorney in Macon, Ga.

If you’re a veteran pursuing SSDI, we’re here to help. The Macon disability attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure your case is handled quickly and fairly. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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