If you have experienced an injury that has stopped you from being able to work, you may choose to seek compensation in the form of social security disability benefits, a personal injury claim, or both. This article defines Social Security Disability Insurance and explains how it may be affected by a personal injury lawsuit.
Social security disability benefits, also called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families. In order to be eligible for the SSDI program, you must have worked long enough and recently enough, as well as paid Social Security taxes on your income.
You must also meet medical requirements to prove your disability. For Social Security purposes, disability is defined as having a permanent total disability that stops you from being able to work. Individuals with short-term or partial disabilities are not eligible for SSDI.
It is possible to apply for the SSDI program online. It takes an average of three to five months for applications to be processed. If you are denied, you can also appeal the decision on the SSDI website.
As of January 2022, the average monthly benefit through SSDI is $1,223, and the maximum monthly benefit is $3,345.
If you make a personal injury claim, it can affect your SSDI and vice versa. This is the case if part of your personal injury settlement compensates you for your inability to work, as opposed to only your medical bills and pain and suffering. Because that part of the settlement is counted as income, receiving personal injury compensation for lost wages may reduce your SSDI benefits or make you ineligible for them entirely. However, personal injury settlement money received for losses other than lost work do not make you ineligible for SSDI payments.
If you are injured and decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to understand the way that this will affect your eligibility for SSDI and other disability benefits. It is highly recommended to work with an experienced personal injury attorney so that they can structure your lawsuit in a way that will not render you ineligible for SSDI payments.