County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Social Security honors our Military heroes


By Hillary Hatch, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

On Memorial Day, our nation honors military service members who have given their lives to preserve our freedoms. Families, friends, and communities come together to remember the great sacrifices of military members and ensure their legacies live on. 

The benefits we provide can help the families of deceased military service members. For example, surviving spouses and dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about those benefits at 

We also offer support to wounded warriors. Social Security benefits protect veterans when injuries prevent them from returning to active duty or performing other work. Both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security have disability programs. You may qualify for disability benefits through one or both programs. Read our fact sheet, “Social Security Disability and Veterans Affairs Disability – How Do They Compare?” at Depending on your situation, some members of your family, including your dependent children or spouse, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. 

Wounded military service members can receive quicker processing of their Social Security disability claims. If you are a veteran with a 100% Permanent & Total compensation rating from Veterans Affairs, we’ll expedite your disability claim. 

Thinking about retirement or know a veteran who is? Military service members can receive Social Security benefits in addition to their military retirement benefits. For details, visit our webpage for veterans, available at

Please share this information with the military families you know. We honor and thank the veterans who bravely served and died for our country and the military service members who serve today.

Some Questions and Answers

Q: I served in the military, and I’ll receive a military pension when I retire. Will that affect my Social Security benefits?

A: You can get both Social Security retirement benefits and military retirement at the same time. Generally, we don’t reduce your Social Security benefits because of your military benefits. When you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, go to This is the fastest and easiest way to apply. For your convenience, you can always save your progress during your application and complete it later. We thank you for your military service!

Q:  I’m planning to retire next year. I served in the Navy back in the 1960s and need to make sure I get credit for my military service. What do I need to do?

A: You don’t need to do anything to apply for the special credit for your military service—it is added automatically. For service between 1957 and 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record at the time you apply for Social Security benefits. For service between 1968 and 2001, those extra military service credits have already been added to your record. So, you can rest assured that we have you covered. Read our online publication, Military Service and Social Security, at Then when the time comes to apply for retirement, you can do it conveniently and easily at

Q: I was wounded while on military service overseas. What are the benefits for wounded warriors, and how can I apply?

A: Through the Wounded Warrior program, Social Security expedites processing of disability claims of current military service members or veterans who developed a disability while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001. Service members and veterans who have a Veterans Administration compensation rating of 100%Permanent and Total (P&T) may also receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. Keep in mind, this expedited process applies to only the application for benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must meet Social Security’s strict definition of “disability,” which means:

  • You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s).
  • Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.

You can apply online at or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Find more information for veterans at


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