Denton & Zachary, PLLC

Am I Entitled to Any Disability Benefits after a Car Accident?

Every car accident is a unique product of driver behavior, road hazards, environmental factors, and both electrical and mechanical aspects of the vehicle’s operation. So, despite similarities, accidents that involve SUVs, trucks, and cars, are complex incidents that can produce a range of consequences and injuries.
Following a crash, many victims wonder if they can collect government benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Every accident’s circumstances are different, and the same goes for whether or not a victim can qualify for SSDI after a severe wreckage.
Below, we discuss in this article who qualifies for SSDI and answer a few commonly asked questions regarding disability benefits for those hurt in crashes.

Conway AR Car Accident Victims Must Satisfy the Requirements of the Non-Medical Program

To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, victims of a collision must meet the non-medical requirements of the Social Security Disability Program. The first element involves limits on substantial gainful income. To qualify for benefits, claimants cannot exceed income limits.
The second requirement that applies to SSDI claims is the insured status of the victim. SSDI is, effectively, an insurance program for workers. To qualify for cover, claimants must satisfy the minimum duration of work requirements. The number of required work credits tends to increase with the age of the person.
If the crash victim can meet the non-medical program requirements, his or her condition or impairment will be analyzed via steps two to five of the Social Security Administration’s 5 step review process.

The car accident caused the victim multiple severe injuries. Does that car accident victim qualify for disability benefits?

If a person suffered several severe injuries, but the SSA lists none of the individual injuries, they may believe that they cannot claim compensation. However, it is worth noting that the SSA does not require the presence of a listed condition. Instead, an acceptable medically documented proof of the listed medical condition allows a victim to win when they get to step 3 of step 5 in the process. Even if he or she does not have a single injury as listed by the SSA, they may still be able to prove that the condition, or multiple conditions, is functionally or medically equal to one that is listed.
The SSA does not look at each condition that a claimant reports in isolation. Instead, it assesses the person’s ability to carry out their day-to-day tasks based on the cumulative effects of their disabilities.

If a victim has broken bones that are expected to completely heal within six months. Does the car wreck victim qualify for disability benefits?

No. Even if the car accident victim meets the non-medical program requirements, their claim is likely to fail as it does not meet the medical requirements as set out in step 2 of the Social Security Administration (SSA) review process.
Step 2 deals with whether the SSA would consider the person’s impairment, condition, or injuries as severe. Only severe conditions are eligible for compensation. A severe impairment is deemed to be a medically determinable injury or even a combination of impairments that interfere with the victim’s work and other day-to-day activities.
Furthermore, the condition is to have existed or predicted to last for a minimum of 12 months. In this instance, the condition is expected to heal within six months. If the injury were to persist, though, for a year or more, a compensable claim may be possible provided the injured party could no perform past work, and there was no other work available.

If a person has suffered burns as the result of a car wreck, can that person claim disability benefits?

Burns can take time to heal and can result in long-term or permanent limitations on a person’s ability to function and move. Crash victims who have soft tissue injuries and severe burns could receive disability benefits if they are unable to work.

If a person suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, can that person receive disability benefits?

In a car accident, it is common for a person to hit their head, leading to injuries in the brain. The key determinate as to whether or not a claimant will be successful is whether their non-medical and medical requirements can be satisfied. Not every impairment or accident-related injury has physical signs. In fact, many severe injuries that can limit a person’s ability to work and carry out daily tasks can have few apparent signs. In the case of a traumatic brain injury, the presence of the condition may be proven under several listings, provided there is objective medical evidence accompanied by reports of the limitations imposed by the injury. Traumatic brain injuries can affect a person’s memory and their ability to complete tasks. If the injured party’s deficits are severe enough that they are unable to work, they could receive disability benefits. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced auto accident attorney.

A victim developed neck pain shortly after a car wreck, and it continues for months. The victim is diagnosed with whiplash. Can they claim disability benefits?

It may be possible to claim disability benefits for whiplash, but it can be complex. Whiplash must include a spinal or neck injury that is visible on an MRI scan to qualify for benefits. Further, the limited motion and pain from the condition must last or be expected to last for at least a year to qualify for benefits.

Since the car wreck, a victim cannot get into the car without significant anxiety, which affects them all day. They cannot concentrate on their Work. Can they get disability benefits?

They may be able to get disability benefits if the anxiety is so severe that they are unable to work. In this instance, a psychiatrist must determine if the victim suffers general anxiety or another condition. Often, people involved in accidents suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. An experienced auto accident attorney may be able to guide you to the right medical professional.

Seek Advice from an Experienced Car Wreck Attorney

Victims involved in a car accident who wish to claim disability benefits should seek the assistance of an experienced auto accident lawyer at Denton and Zachary, PLLC, to ensure they receive maximum compensation. Contact the experienced car wreck attorneys at our office to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.