Is there a Statute of Limitations for Veterans Social Security Disability Claims?

older man leaning forward in his chair toward woman in foreground
May 26, 2021 | Sara Khaki

All veterans who suffer from an illness or injury which prevents them from holding gainful employment have the right to pursue benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, waiting too long after leaving the workplace could limit the benefits you’re entitled to receive, depending on which disability program you file for.

While Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is always available to disabled people with limited financial means, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program does have some time limitations. This, combined with the fact that many disabled veterans receive payments through the VA, can limit the benefits someone may be entitled to receive. While there is not a strict statute of limitations for veterans’ Social Security disability claims, waiting too long to file could limit the benefits that you may qualify for.

There is No Strict Statute of Limitations when Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits

SSI and SSDI work as social safety nets to provide payments to people left unable to make ends meet because of mental or physical impairments. The good news about these programs is that there is no strict time limit for filing a claim.

It doesn’t matter if a veteran left the workforce or military yesterday or years ago. It also doesn’t matter if a disability was a sudden occurrence or if a condition worsened over time. The fact is that any person who believes that a medical condition keeps them from working or earning enough income may file an application for SSDI or SSI benefits, respectively, at any point.

While there is no statute of limitations for filing a Social Security disability claim, there is a time limit on seeking an appeal. By law, veterans and civilians alike who receive a denial on a claim have only 60 days to file an appeal. One of our advocates for the disabled could help former servicemembers meet this vital deadline in the event of one or more denial.

Additional Limitations in the Social Security Disability Benefit Programs

The lack of strict filing deadlines on initial disability applications may seem like a green light to pursue benefits whenever it’s convenient to do so. However, vets who wait too long risk limiting their potential payments.

For example, to be eligible for SSDI payments, a veteran must prove that they have a sufficient work history. Former servicemembers applying for SSDI must have a total of 40 work credits, and at least 20 of these credits must have been earned in the past 10 years. One credit is equivalent to one quarter of a year spent working. A veteran who waits too long to file a disability claim may find that their current work history does not amount to sufficient credits. For this reason, it is essential that disabled veterans file an SSDI claim as soon as they are unable to work.

Timing is Important in Veterans’ Social Security Disability Claims

Social Security disability claims do not have a statute of limitations. However, we still recommended that you file a case as soon as a condition leaves you unable to work or earn enough income. Doing so can ensure that your claim for disability benefits properly showcases your work history and gives you credit for the time you spent on the job or in uniform.

If you have received a denial on your Social Security disability claim, you are subject to a statute of limitations of 60 days to request an appeal. In other words, there is a time limit that applies to veterans seeking benefits on appeal. Reach out to a seasoned disability representative at our firm today to learn more about the time limits that apply to veterans’ Social Security disability claims.

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