Can I Receive Social Security Benefits for a Car Accident?

Posted September 27, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

While many car accidents result in only minor injuries, some accident-related injuries can have a lasting impact on your life. If your injury prevents you from working and is expected to last for a significant amount of time, you may consider pursuing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help cover your medical expenses, lost earnings and other expenses caused by the accident.

There are a wide range of injuries caused by car accidents that may qualify for Social Security Disability:

  • Burns – If you suffer burns on your arms, legs, torso, head or face that impair functional use of a body part, you may qualify for benefits.
  • Back injuriesCar accidents can cause new back injuries or worsening of pre-existing back problems. Some back injuries that may qualify for benefits include compression of a nerve root, spinal cord injuries or lumbar spinal stenosis.
  • Soft tissue injuries – Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents because of the sudden jolting of the neck during impact.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding – If you had serious bleeding of the stomach, intestines or esophagus that resulted in the need for multiple blood transfusions, you may qualify for disability benefits.
  • Traumatic brain injuriesTraumatic brain injuries that prevent you from focusing on your work, completing your tasks or working with others may qualify you for benefits.
  • Anxiety – Some mental health issues may arise or become worse because of a car accident, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression.

Your injury must satisfy the Social Security Administration’s criteria for a disability to be eligible for benefits. This means you must have a long-term disability that impairs your ability to work for one year or longer. Short-term injuries are unlikely to qualify for benefits. You will also need documentation of your diagnosis and its severity from a licensed medical professional to have a chance of obtaining benefits. This documentation should also establish that your injury prevents you from working.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The Worn-Out Worker Rule

Posted September 20, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The “worn out worker” rule, a little-known provision of the Social Security regulations, applies to some disability applicants whose employment history consists of many years of unskilled physical labor. The worn-out worker rule allows for eligible disability claimants who would otherwise have their disability claim denied to be awarded Social Security benefits. To qualify, the disability applicant must:

  • have what’s defined as a “marginal education.” In general, the claimant must have a low skill level in academic areas such as reasoning, arithmetic, and language. A claimant who has completed no higher than the 6th grade is usually considered to have a marginal education.
  • have worked 35 years or more of performing only arduous unskilled physical labor positions. This could include some farm workers, mine workers, and others whose job duties were solely of a physical nature, and
  • be unable to perform their previous job duties due to a severe physical or mental impairment (or a combination of impairments). Just as for all Social Security disability claims, the impairment or impairments must be expected to last at least one year (or result in death).

Before deciding whether or not the worn-out worker rule applies to a disability applicant, the Social Security claims adjudicator (either a claims examiner or administrative law judge) will first evaluate the applicant’s disability status using Social Security’s five-step sequential evaluation process. If the disability claimant is not found disabled under these any of the steps, then the claims examiner or administrative law judge should consider the worn-out worker rule.

Many of the Social Security applicants who could qualify for disability benefits under the worn-out worker rule are actually approved because they meet the requirements for disability under a medical listing or residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. In that case, the claims examiner or judge never considers the work-out worker rule.

Similarly, an applicant who is at least 55 years old, has no more than a limited education (11th grade or less and has not obtained a GED), and has no past relevant work experience will be found disabled as long as the individual has at least one severe, medically determinable impairment regardless of their residual functional capacity. See 20 CFR § 404.1562.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

 

More Conditions Added to the Compassionate Allowance List

Posted September 13, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Four new Compassionate Allowance conditions have recently been added to the list of claims that receive expedited decisions. They are: CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder, Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, Primary Peritoneal Cancer, and Richter Syndrome. The Compassionate Allowance List is a program to quickly identify severe diseases and medical conditions that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. The list has grown to a total of 237 conditions, including certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. To date, more than 600,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this fast-track policy-compliant disability process.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Full list of Compassionate Allowances: https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®