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Disability benefits problematic for some veterans

For those in New Jersey not able to work because of a serious injury, Social Security disability benefits can be a huge help. The money you receive can help supplement the income you may have lost.

There are a number of different options for those seeking Social Security benefits, but the process to get those benefits may not always be easy as there are strict guidelines. The same is true for other benefits, such as veteran's disability benefits.

Thousands of soldiers have served overseas since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. While their bravery is honored, some members of the National Guard say they haven't received the disability benefits they are entitled to. New Jersey residents may be interested in one such story unfolding in Louisiana.

Four years ago, the state of Louisiana created a program to compensate soldiers in the Louisiana National Guard that were killed or permanently disabled after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Families of those soldiers that were killed receive $250,000, while soldiers who were injured receive $100,000. However, soldiers need to be certified as totally disabled to receive the benefits and few are eligible.

So far, thirteen soldiers have applied for the benefits, but only two have received payment. As a result, some of the soldiers have taken legal action and have sued the program for the benefits they think they are rightfully due.

While it is unclear if those soldiers will receive the benefits, those in New Jersey thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits may find it helpful to speak with an attorney experienced in the Social Security process. The attorney may be able to explain the steps that need to be taken and prepare the necessary paperwork.

Source: The Republic, "2 Guardsmen get Louisiana benefit checks; 11 other applications rejected," Nov. 8, 2011

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