Social Security: Serving Those Who Serve Our Nation

Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works

Veterans Day is a time to honor the service of our nation’s over 20 million veterans. It should also be a moment to reflect on how our nation serves our veterans. Though Social Security is not generally considered a veterans’ benefit, it serves our veterans well. If it is expanded, it would serve them even better.

Social Security insures workers and their families against the loss of wages in the event to death, disability, or old age. Social Security provides our active military, our veterans, and their families a vital foundation of economic protection, just as it does for the rest of us.

When a service member dies or suffers a serious injury, Social Security is there, providing important support for them and their families. Serving in a war zone increases drastically the risk of death or disability. More than 6,800 American servicemen and women have been killed on active duty in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving behind more than 4,000 children. Social Security is there for those families. A million or more have been seriously injured fighting in those wars. Nearly one million veterans receive Social Security disability benefits, despite the program’s extremely stringent test.

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