Brown bill aims to fast-track benefits to disabled vets

Proposed legislation would streamline process of applying for compensation.

At a press conference Tuesday, Nov. 10, Brown unveiled legislation that would require the Social Security Administration to accept for SSDI any vet who qualifies for disability compensation under Veterans Administration guidelines.

Brown said the Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements, or BRAVE, Act would eliminate redundancy and put many vets on a “fast track” for acceptance.

“Honoring our nation’s veterans means fulfilling our promise to them,” Brown said. “Veterans in Ohio and across the country must receive benefits in a manner befitting their service.”

Nearly 123,000 Ohio veterans and their survivors receive VA disability payments and could be eligible for fast-tracked SSDI under the bill, Brown’s office reported. Some 935,000 Ohioans receive some type of VA benefits, 47,618 of them in Montgomery County.

Studies have shown that about four in 10 veterans declared at least partially disabled by the VA don’t get SSDI.

Brown said the VA is getting 1,000 new employees to process disability claims, regardless of whether his bill passes. Meanwhile, he said, Social Security has lagged in handling claims. In Ohio, processing time for SSDI averages 621 days, well above the national average of 495 days.

“The VA does that (screening) now,” Brown said. “There’s no reason you should have to go through the same thing again.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2264 or tbeyerlein@Dayton

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