By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
On Memorial Day, our nation honors military service members who have given their lives for our country. Families, friends, and communities pause to remember the many great sacrifices of our military and ensure their legacy lives on in the freedoms we all enjoy. We recognize these heroes who, in President Lincoln’s words, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”
The benefits we provide can help the families of military service members. For example, widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about those benefits at www.ssa.gov/survivors.
We also offer support to our wounded warriors. Social Security benefits protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work. Wounded military service members can receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. Are you a veteran with a 100% Permanent & Total compensation rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs? We will expedite your disability claim. Both the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Social Security Administration have disability programs. You may qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or you may qualify for both. Depending on your situation, some of your family members, including your dependent children or spouse, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
Want more information? Visit www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors for answers to commonly asked questions or to find information about the application process.
Thinking about retirement? Military service members can receive Social Security benefits in addition to their military retirement benefits. For details, read the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner, available at www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/veterans.html.
Please share this information with the military families in your community. To the veterans who bravely served and died for our country, and to the military service members who serve today, we honor and thank you.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.