Can I Get Social Security Disability If I'm Still In The Armed Forces

Jul 21, 2011 Comments Off on Can I Get Social Security Disability If I'm Still In The Armed Forces by

Question: Can I get Social Security disability if I’m still in the armed forces?

Answer: Yes. I know that answer may surprise a lot of people but you certainly can get Social Security disability benefits while still on active duty in the armed forces.

Let me explain. People in the armed forces can get injured in combat. People in the armed forces also become disabled in the same ways as everyone else, by cancer, heart attacks, car wrecks, mental illness, etc. When a member of the military becomes unable to perform his or her duties due to illness, he or she is assigned to a unit that has traditionally been called Medical Holding Company but which may go by other names these days, depending upon the branch of service and the location. Being in the Medical Holding Company gives the service member time to recover. Often, service members leave Medical Holding Company to go back to regular duties. Sometimes, it become clear over time that the service member will not return to regular duties and must be separated from the military. The process of separating a service member from military service due to illness or injury can take time — many month. In the end, a service member may be in Medical Holding Company for well over a year.

For disability claims, Social Security only cares if you are working or not. It doesn’t matter that you’re still on a payroll, even if it’s a military payroll. You can read this policy in black and white in Social Security’s manual. It doesn’t matter that you’re technically in the active duty military. You can file a Social Security disability claim while in Medical Holding Company, be approved and be paid Social Security disability benefits.

If you’re in Medical Holding company and it doesn’t look like you’re going to be able to return to regular duties, consider filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

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About the author

Charles Hall is the lead attorney for the Charles Hall Law Firm in Raleigh, NC. He has been practicing in the Social Security Disability law field since 1979, is published, and is ready to help new clients win their benefits in North Carolina.