Am I Entitled to Disability Benefits If a Car Accident Left Me Permanently Disabled?
People who are injured in car accidents are entitled to a car accident settlement through a personal injury claim that typically compensates them for property damage to their vehicle, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Those who become permanently disabled in a car accident may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits too. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine eligibility based on qualifying disabilities.
If you or a loved one was injured and permanently disabled in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney who can review your case and discuss your legal rights.
How do you qualify for disability benefits?
According to a statement on ssa.gov, “To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In general, we pay monthly benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability.”
Generally, if you meet the following criteria then the SSA considers you disabled:
- You have a serious mental or physical impairment that has already persisted for or is expected to persist for at least 12 months, and
- You are not involved in any substantial gainful activity (work) that pays more than a set limit
- You cannot work in the same type of work you did before the accident, and
- You cannot do or be trained to do any other less demanding work or work in a different field.
Here is the link to Part A of qualifying impairments for adult listings: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
Here is a link to Part B of qualifying impairments for childhood listings:
Note that even if your injury is not specifically listed, you may still qualify for SSD benefits if it can be shown that your injury is “medically equivalent” to one listed by the SSA. Whether your injury is listed or not, you will need to provide medical evidence of the nature of your disability.
Most common disabilities caused by car accidents
Musculoskeletal system and neurological disorders are the two most common disabilities caused by car accidents.
Musculoskeletal system disorders:
Disabilities of this nature are caused by damage to muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments such as broken bones, severe burns, amputated limbs and spinal cord injuries. When a person cannot perform motor skill movements for reasonable periods of time after a car crash, they may have a qualifying musculoskeletal disorder.
Neurological disorders caused by car accidents are typically the result of a severe traumatic brain injury. These disorders may cause sensory impairment, such as loss of vision and/or hearing or speech impairment that make it impossible for a person to ever work again.
A car accident attorney can help to make sure that your application for SSD benefits is complete by gathering medical evidence on your behalf.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!