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Veterans win class action lawsuit, will receive disability benefits
Posted August 09, 2011

Results of a class action lawsuit may be good news for many veterans with disability qualifying conditions.

A class-action lawsuit filed by the National Veterans Legal Services Program has been settled, according to Medical News Today. The suit claimed that thousands of ex-servicemen and women discharged due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between 2003 and 2008 did not get benefits they were entitled to.

Medical News said as a result of the settlement, the United States military will pay disability benefits for life to 1,029 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD who were discharged and denied benefits. The military will also increase the PTSD for an additional 1,066 benefits, who could be in line for thousands of dollars of back pay.

It was a big week for veterans suffering from PTSD, as a study by Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven shows the drug Risperdal, administered for PTSD treatment, caused side effects such as weight gain and sleeplessness, according to Reuters Health. About 20 percent of VA, or 87,000 veterans diagnosed with PTSD, took the drug in 2009, according to WebMD.

Social Security Administration receives exemption in deficit deal
Posted August 09, 2011

With a backlog of about 1.4 million people waiting for a review of their benefits, things could start moving quicker for the Social Security Administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In this month’s deficit-reduction deal, the SSA was given an exemption that could ramp up the amount of continuing eligibility for disability reviews performed. Social Security officials say that a lack of funding has prevented the agency from removing beneficiaries who are no longer eligible and crawling to a snails-pace on reviewing new claims of those with disability qualifying conditions.

As an example, the Wall Street Journal reports that there were 850,000 continuing disability reviews in 2002 and only 200,000 in 2007. This slide may be due to the increase in the amount of disability beneficiaries, which has gone from 6.9 million in 2001 to 10.4 million as of this month.

According to an Allsup study of the SSA’s backlog state-by-state, social security disability applicants in Illinois will wait an average of approximately 500 days for their claim to be processed. There are nearly 25,000 cases pending in the state. The hope for the new review system is that these numbers can be reduced in the coming days.

It is our opinion that our clients cases are expedited by the timely submission of their current medical treatment records so that the Social Security Administration will recognize that their file is ready for a decision.

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