published Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Social Security: Social Security honors vets

By Gregory Holmes
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    Gregory Holmes, district manager for Social Security

Memorial Day is a day when we all come together to honor those who have given their lives in the defense of freedom and the principles we hold dear in this country.

May is also National Military Appreciation Month. As we observe Memorial Day and Military Appreciation Month, we would like to let members of our military know how much we value what they do for our nation.

At Social Security, we offer a wide range of services for our service members.

Families of fallen military heroes may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Learn more about Social Security survivors benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/survivors.htm.

For service members who return home with injuries, Social Security is here to help. Visit our Wounded Warriors website. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. We use an expedited process for military service members who become disabled while on active military service, regardless of where the disability occurs.

The Wounded Warriors website answers a number of commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. It is important to note that benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.

Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they are unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

If you've served in the Armed Forces and you're planning your retirement, you'll want to read our publication, Military Service and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.pdf.

You also may want to visit the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/veterans.htm.

Submit questions to local Social Security Director Gregory Holmes by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, or by e-mailing him at dflessner@timesfreepress.com.

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