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Honoring heroes on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, the United States honors the soldiers and service members who have given their lives for our nation, according to a Social Security press release.

“Social Security respects the heroism and courage of our military service members, and remembers those who have given their lives in defense of freedom,” officials said in the release.

“Part of how we honor service members is the way we provide Social Security benefits,” officials said.

“The unexpected loss of a family member is a difficult experience for anyone,” officials said.

According to the release, Social Security helps by providing benefits to protect service members’ dependents. Widows, widowers and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. The release stated those who wanted to learn more about survivors benefits should visit www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

“It’s also important to recognize those service members who are still with us, especially those who have been wounded,” officials said. “Just as they served us, we have the obligation to serve them. Social Security has benefits to assist veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty.”

According to the release, wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims.

“For example, Social Security will provide expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total (P&T),” officials said. “Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive benefits.”

The release stated that those who were searching could get answers to commonly asked questions and find useful information about the application process at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

“Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits,” officials said. “The good news is that your military retirement benefit does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit.”

Service members are also eligible for Medicare at age 65. “If you have health insurance from the VA or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA programs, your health benefits may change, or end, when you become eligible for Medicare. Learn more about Medicare benefits atwww.socialsecurity.gov/medicare.”