Supporting Our Wounded Warriors

Every Veterans Day, the nation honors the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect our country and the freedoms we cherish. Social Security honors veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the support they deserve. A vital part of that is administering the Social Security disability program.

For those who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to for disability benefits. Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website is at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

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

The expedited process is available to military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after Oct. 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

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’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

With over 80 years of experience and compassionate service, Social Security is proud to support our veterans and active duty members of the military. Let these heroes know they can count on us when they need to take advantage of their earned benefits, today and tomorrow


Q&A

Q:  How do I earn Social Security credits, and how many do I need to qualify for benefits?

A:  We use your total yearly earnings to figure your Social Security credits. The amount needed for a credit in 2016 is $1,260. You can earn a maximum of four credits for any year. The amount needed to earn one credit increases automatically each year when average wages increase.

You must earn a certain number of credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need depends on your age when you apply and the type of benefit application. No one needs more than 40 credits for any Social Security benefit.

For more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Q:  Why should I sign up for a my Social Security online account?

A:  my Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can:
• Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;
• Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;
• Get a replacement Social Security card if you meet certain criteria and reside in these locations;
• Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and
• Manage your benefits:
– Change your address or telephone number;
– Start or change your direct deposit;
– Get a replacement Medicare card; and
– Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

Q:  My spouse died recently and my neighbor said my children and I might be eligible for survivors benefits. Don’t I have to be retirement age to receive benefits?

A:  No. As a survivor, you can receive benefits at any age if you are caring for a child who is receiving Social Security benefits and who is under age 16. Your children are eligible for survivors benefits through Social Security up to age 19 if they are unmarried and attending elementary or secondary school full time. Keep in mind that you are still subject to the annual earnings limit if you are working. If you are not caring for minor children, you would need to wait until age 60 (age 50 if disabled) to collect survivors benefits. For more information about survivors benefits, read our publication Survivors Benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

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