Many people don't realize it, but there can be significant overlap between the workers' compensation system and the Social Security disability system. Usually, individuals who are injured on the job seek workers' compensation so that they can recoup their lost wages and medical expenses, thereby allowing them to focus on their recovery and returning to work. Many times, though, these individuals find that they are unable to return to work on account of their medical condition, which drives them to seek Social Security disability benefits.
The Social Security disability process can deceptively seem simple. At first glance, it appears one merely needs to show that he or she suffers from a medical condition that renders him or her unable to work. To a certain extent, this assessment is correct. But in reality, the matter is much more complicated.
Filing for Social Security disability benefits can seem daunting. Gathering evidence and crafting legal arguments can be challenging and tiring, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the system. Yet, despite all their hard work, many individuals who seek SSD benefits find their initial claim denied. As disheartening as that may be, these individuals should not be deterred from pursuing the matter further, as these denials can be appealed. The first step of the process is known as reconsideration, which is where the evidence presented at the initial hearing is reevaluated.
We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing how you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits under specific illnesses and injuries. However, we want to take a step back to give you a better glimpse at the big picture of SSD claim adjudication. Hopefully, this information will allow you to better see what the Social Security Administration is looking for when assessing your claim which, in turn, can help guide you in the preparation of your initial claim or your appeal.
Injuries can fall anywhere on a large spectrum from relatively minor and non-life-altering, such as minor bruises, to those that can completely alter an individual's life. The latter types of injuries can leave a victim with not only extensive physical limitations but also emotional turmoil, which can be exacerbated by financial hardship. This financial hardship can be caused by massive medical expenses and lost wages due to an inability to work. At least with regard to this aspect, there is good news in that these individuals may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits.
If you or a loved one sustains an injury on the job and cannot work, benefits may be available. Many individuals are aware of workers' compensation and SSDI. However, not everyone understands how they work separately as well as together.
Social Security disability is an important resource for disabled individuals to be aware of and is not simply limited to individuals who have been injured at work. In general, Social Security disability benefits may be available to disabled individuals who have the necessary work history to qualify and are prevented from working due to their disability. Suffering from a disability, and being unable to work and support themselves, can be exceptionally challenging for disabled individuals.
Disabled individuals suffering from disease such as lupus may soon encounter additional application-related challenges when applying for important Social Security disability benefits. Currently, 45 percent of disabled individuals obtain Social Security disability benefits when they first apply. In addition, the waiting period for a hearing, which is one of the steps in the appeals process, is 600 days on average. There are presently greater than 100 million individuals waiting for a hearing.
Injured workers and other individuals suffering from a disability may be able to claim Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits which can help them with some of their everyday costs and expenses when they are unable to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of medical impairments that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If the disabled individual suffers from a medical condition that is not on the list, they may still qualify for benefits based on other guidelines used to establish their disabling medical condition.
Many people believe they automatically qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits because they have taxes taken out of their paychecks and are unable to work. The eligibility requirements for SSDI are much more complex than that. Anyone who is considering filing a claim to receive SSDI should first understand the following criteria.