While many people who survive an accident will eventually recover, some people are never able to return to their normal activities. A severe accident may leave a person paralyzed or in chronic pain, and in some cases, mental issues resulting from a brain injury make it difficult to work.
If an accident has left you with a permanent disability, you may choose to apply for benefits through Social Security. These programs allow people to receive monthly payments, as well as health insurance, once their condition leaves them unable to work.
Applying for disability after an accident
For Social Security, the application process is the same regardless of the type of disability, or what caused it. Some conditions that may qualify someone to receive disability include mobility problems, chronic or terminal illnesses, and developmental conditions like autism. Some of these conditions may be present from birth, but others may be acquired later in life.
Disabilities resulting from an accident can be severe. In some cases, a person may be worse off if they became disabled recently, because they haven’t learned how to live with their condition.
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to apply, you may want to learn about the different options for people with disabilities.
Social Security offers two programs for people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI is funded with Social Security taxes, and the monthly payments are determined by the person’s work history. SSDI recipients receive Medicare after two years.
SSI is a need-based program, which means that recipients are eligible if they have low income and few assets. A person who is too young to have a long work history, such as those who were born with a disability, may qualify for SSI. Medicaid is immediately available to SSI recipients/
Both programs are similar, but there are important distinctions. SSI payments are typically much smaller than SSDI payments, and it’s harder to stay eligible if the person tries to go back to work. If you work while receiving SSI and your income puts you over the limit, you may be required to pay back some of your benefits. This can cause problems for people who aren’t expecting it.
If you need help applying for disability after an accident, contact our offices. We can easily be reached by phone, email, or text message, whichever you prefer. Schedule a free consultation today!