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More than earned: A warrior’s fight for SSDI benefits

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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The young Army lieutenant did not want to listen to combat-tested veterans in his platoon, so he ordered the group to use the road in Afghanistan rather than a less obvious route to their destination. The result was that an improvised explosive device buried in the road detonated and tore the left leg off of one of the soldiers. The explosion also shattered the soldier’s left arm and severely damaged his left ear.

He returned home after the late 2010 IED explosion to surgeries and rehabilitation. The VA outfitted him with a high-tech prosthetic leg and the Social Security Administration approved his claim for disability benefits.

It seemed clear then that his country was taking care of the wounded warrior who had sacrificed so much.

After his disability benefits were inexplicably discontinued three months ago, it is no longer as obvious that his service and sacrifice mean something; at least not to the bureaucrats making the decisions.

“It’s surreal and overwhelming,” he said of losing his Social Security disability benefits. “It’s not like my leg grew back.”

A summer in which he and his sweetheart planned to marry has turned into a summer of unpaid bills, electricity being cut off to his home for nonpayment, and a maddening battle with Social Security to get needed benefits restored.

“Somehow I was deemed no longer disabled by Social Security, and it’s been an absolute hellish nightmare,” he recently told a newspaper. “I wish I wasn’t disabled and that my leg grew back, and that my arm functioned, and that my gonads hadn’t been blown off and I no longer needed testosterone shots, and I could hear, and I didn’t have PTSD and that I didn’t have a traumatic brain injury.”

He and his fiancé vow to press on to get the needed benefits restored.

Their wedding vows will be uttered to each other this weekend.

We do not know how their struggle with the Social Security Administration will be resolved, but we do know that our brave veterans deserve better.

A Charlotte attorney experienced in SSDI appeals can help you fight for the benefits you have earned and that you deserve.