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Dog bite will I qualify for SSDI?

Recently on our forum a user asked, “I was recently attacked by a dog, and I am not going to be able to work for quite a few months. I was wondering if I could apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for the months that I will not be working?”


Who can receive SSDI benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is awarded to claimants who have a severe mental or physical health condition which is considered severe, and which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months. In addition to medical requirements, however, claimants must also be considered insured for SSDI, which means they have worked and paid sufficient taxes into the Social Security Trust Fund.

Now, we’ll assume you have been working and paying taxes and we will only address the issue of whether or not your condition will qualify for SSDI benefits.

Is my dog bite severe enough to receive SSDI benefits?

Although there are individuals who are attacked by dogs and receive very severe injuries, many dog bites are minor or they are severe but the victim is expected to recover within 12 months.

So how do you know if your condition is severe enough to receive SSDI benefits? You need to clarify with your doctor when you will be able to return to work. If you have been severely injured and your doctor states that you will be out of work for at least 12 continuous months, it is time to apply for SSDI.

Now, just because the doctor provides a note does not ensure you will receive SSDI, but it will improve your chances. In fact, information provided by your doctor as well as additional medical evidence, such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, will all bolster your claim.

What if my condition will not last 12 months?

The majority of dog bite victims suffer only minor injuries or injuries which will not last a full year. If this is the case there is no reason to apply for SSDI benefits. In fact, even if you do decide to apply, the SSA will automatically deny your case, regardless of the severity of your current health condition.

This might seem a bit harsh, but the SSA does not care that you are completely disabled at this moment and unable to work. Their main concern is whether your condition will last at least 12 continuous months and will not allow you to work.

Cannot get SSDI for a dog bite what are my options?

Now, just because you cannot get SSDI for your dog bite does not mean that you cannot receive some type of compensation. In fact, you may be able to file a civil claim against the dog’s owner and force them repay you for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.

Dog bite laws and statutes vary by state. You will need to review the statutes in your state to determine whether or not the owner is liable for your injuries. For example, some states allow what is called the “one bite rule” which might not penalize the owner if they had no foreknowledge of their dog’s propensity to violence. Other states may reduce the owner’s culpability if your actions contributed to your own injuries.

Talk to a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about the laws in your state.

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