A serious or long-term injury can be catastrophic emotionally, professionally, and financially. If you are injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance, which can pay your medical expenses and up to two-thirds of the wages you were earning before your injury. If you are unable to work or have limited income due to these circumstances, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some people may be eligible for more than one benefit program; while you are entitled to up to 80% of the wages you were earning before you became disabled, you cannot collect more than that from the combination of sources.
SSDI Concerns and Complications
Like many governmental programs, SSDI and SSI are constantly being challenged. Given rapidly depleting funds, there is a concern that by the end of 2016, current recipients of SSDI will receive 19% less than they are currently receiving— an amount that totals barely above the poverty line in annual income. These benefits are the sole source of income for many individuals who are unable to work due to a disability.
Whether your medical condition constitutes a disability is up to the discretion of the Social Security Administration. While there are clear guidelines that define disability, the burden is on the injured party to prove they are so disabled that they cannot continue to work, or cannot do the work that they did before as a result of their accident or injury. In order to make this determination, the Administration will consider five factors:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition “severe” as defined by the Administration?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
If you are a recipient of Veteran’s Administration benefits, state or local benefits, or SSI, these public benefits do not affect your eligibility for SSDI, so long as you meet the requirements for SSDI. Other benefits, such as receipt of workers’ compensation insurance, may affect your eligibility or may limit the amount of benefits you can receive. At any given time, you cannot receive benefits that exceed 80% of the income you were earning on average before your injury. If receiving benefits from SSDI would cause your total benefits to be greater than 80% of your former income, the benefits will be reduced accordingly so as not to exceed 80%.
South Carolina Social Security Attorneys
Applying for Social Security benefits can be time consuming, complicated, and frustrating. Hiring an experienced Social Security attorney is the best way to ensure that your application is done correctly the first time and that you will be able to receive the maximum benefits that you are entitled to by law. Even if you have previously applied for Social Security benefits and been denied, the Administration does have an appeal process. To ensure that you have the best chance at receiving the benefits you are entitled to, contact the Solomon Law Group in South Carolina today.