Can I Get Disability Benefits after a Car Accident?

A personal injury (PI) claim is one of your best options for getting your life back on track after you’re hurt in a car accident.

You could get compensation for your medical treatment, financial losses and suffering.

But is personal injury compensation the only source of support after a car wreck, truck accident, motorcycle accident, fall on private property, dog bite or other incident?

Not necessarily.

If your injuries will leave you unable to work for a long time, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, which provide monthly checks for as long as you can’t work.

But SSD claims and personal injury claims are very different.

Working with a law firm that has the resources to handle both kinds of claims could be the best way for you to maximize every form of compensation available after an injury.

That’s Levine Benjamin Law Firm, which has been helping people with health and financial problems in Toledo, Traverse City and across Michigan and Ohio for over 50 years.

From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.

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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

When it decides whether to award you SSD benefits, the government doesn’t need to know exactly how your accident occurred, or who was at fault.

This isn’t a case against another driver. It’s a benefits program that you apply for.

What matters for disability benefits is that your health problems, no matter how they started, are severe enough that you can’t work.

This means:

  • You must prove you can’t go back to your previous work, and the reason is your health.
  • You have to show that your medical impairments are severe enough that you can’t switch to other jobs, either.
  • It must be clear that your health limitations will last at least a year.

Proving this requires submitting evidence from your medical treatment—evidence that could also be part of your personal injury case.

But getting disability benefits doesn’t necessarily affect how much you get from a personal injury settlement, or vice versa.

Let a personal injury lawyer and Social Security Disability lawyer from Levine Benjamin Law Firm take a look at your case and your options for receiving every possible form of compensation for your injuries.

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Differences between PI & SSD Claims

Personal injury and Social Security Disability cases involve very different legal systems and processes.

Here are some of the differences:

  • Personal injury claims involve negotiating with insurance companies, which is not a part of the SSD process.
  • A personal injury claim requires proving that someone was negligent, causing your injury. Social Security doesn’t consider any kind of fault.
  • In personal injury, you go up against another party, who may fight back. Social Security claims aren’t adversarial. Social Security isn’t arguing against you, but you still have to fight through its complicated process for getting disability benefits.
  • Personal injury cases unfold in private negotiations and the regular state court system. Social Security has its own separate courts and judges to decide who wins disability benefits.
  • The amount you receive from a personal injury case can vary widely. Social Security uses a pre-set scale, which includes factors like your past income, to determine the amount you will get.
  • Personal injury cases usually end in a one-time settlement or judgment. Social Security benefits come in the form of monthly checks for as long as you can’t work.

For personal injury, you want a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases. For disability, you want a lawyer experienced in disability claims.

An injury and disability law firm like Levine Benjamin can identify and pursue all of your opportunities for financial support. If your injury happened at work, for example, you also may have a workers’ compensation claim.

When you’ve been hurt and your life disrupted, it’s time to secure your financial future.

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