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Injury was not my fault can I get SSDI?

Someone else caused my injury


Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, “Am I eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if the injury is not my fault?” This blog will address the requirements of SSDI benefits.

Qualifying for SSDI


Disability applicants may qualify for SSDI if they can prove that they have a condition which is so severe it is expected to last for 12 continuous months and it does not allow them to perform substantial gainful activity or SGA work. Additionally, SSDI applicants must have paid enough in employment taxes to be considered “insured” for SSDI.

Now, will the SSA care how the accident has occurred? No, the SSA will only consider if you are 100% disabled and unable to work. The SSA does not offer any type of short term or partial disability benefits so you must prove that your condition is completely disabling.


Personal Injury settlements and disability benefits


If your personal injury was caused by the negligence of another person and you receive compensation for your injury this will not affect your SSDI case, but if you do not qualify for SSDI and you have to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) a large settlement could make you ineligible for disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income or SSI is offered to disabled individuals who have a severe condition which is expected to last for 12 continuous months and does not allow them to work but they have not worked enough to be insured for SSDI benefits.

If you have to apply for SSI, instead of SSDI benefits, the SSA will consider your resource and income level. If your income and resources are too high you will be denied SSI benefits.

If you have been awarded compensation for a personal injury due to the negligence of another person, as mentioned above, this may raise your resource level too high to get SSI benefits, making you ineligible for SSI.

So what do you do if you have been severely injured due to the negligence of another person? First, you can see what options you have to recover damages from the negligent party. If you are injured at work you need to talk to your employer about workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured by another person and the injury did not occur at work, you can discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer.

After you personal injury case is settled (or during) if you know you will not be able to go back to work for at least 12 continuous months you can evaluate whether you meet the criteria for SSDI or SSI.

If you are insured for SSDI, then you will apply for SSDI. If you do not have enough work credits than SSI will be your only option.

Keep in mind, SSI and SSDI disability is not an entitlement program, it is an insurance program. Most applicants are denied benefits and many have to appeal their denials, and some applicants will never receive benefits.