Pursuing Disability Benefits After a Personal Injury

An accident can change your whole life in a matter of seconds. A motor vehicle collision or slip and fall can result in long-term debilitating pain and limitations and may even prevent you from being able to work gainfully. If you have experienced limitations resulting from a personal injury, you may be considering applying for disability benefits. If so, you should understand the general rules that govern eligibility benefits.

Social security disability benefits have both medical and non-medical guidelines that must be met before you can be found eligible.

Non-Medical Guidelines

The two types of social security disability benefits are Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Eligibility SSDI is based on work credits paid into social security. These work credits count towards the worker, the widow or widower of the worker, or potentially a disabled adult child. SSI is based on income and asset level. To obtain SSI, you must establish that you are in financial need based on social security’s criteria.  If you live with other people, their assets and income will count against you in determining whether you have financial need. Additionally, if you have an award from a personal injury claim, then the award can be counted against you as well.

Medical Guidelines

For adults, the medical guidelines are the same regardless of disability type. The medical guidelines require that you must not be performing substantial gainful activity (i.e., working and making a certain amount of money that changes annually), must have a medically determinable impairment that causes you limitations in your ability to work for at least 12 months or more, you cannot perform any of your past work, and you cannot perform other gainful activity available in the national economy (i.e., other work that is available in substantial numbers). If you are over 50 years old, your age and past work matters significantly in this determination.

There is a lot at stake after a debilitating injury. If you have experienced a serious injury due to the negligence of another and you need assistance with either your personal injury case or social security disability claim, please contact us for a free consultation.


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