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Qualifying for Social Security benefits after a car accident

A debilitating accident doesn't just change the life of the victim; for the rest of their lives, his or her family has to live with the pain, heartache and financial repercussions of the tragedy. Thousands of people are injured in car accidents in California every year, many of them seriously. When an injury from a car accident results in long-term disabilities, some people are unable to return to work, which can have a terrible impact on their family's income. Other challenges include the loss of health insurance after losing a job and increasing medical and long-term therapy bills.

Disabled World reports that about 2.5 percent of California's population currently suffers from disabilities, either related to injury or illness, that prevent them from performing some of the most basic daily activities that most of us take for granted. If it can be too difficult to dress one's self without help, imagine how hard it is to go to work with a disability. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is an option that can relieve some of the financial stress that disabled people experience, but the process can be lengthy, frustrating and involve multiple appeals. When trying to navigate the process on their own, many disabled people may wonder if they even qualify for benefits.

Common Accident Injuries That Can Qualify For Disability

In addition to causing broken bones that can sometimes fail to heal properly, resulting in lifelong problems, car accidents often cause serious head and spine injuries. The Mayo Clinic says that the damage caused by traumatic brain injuries can result in impairments that last a lifetime. Pain from a mild spinal injury, such as whiplash, can last two years or longer.

Motorcyclists especially are in danger of being disabled in an accident that injures their spine. Last August, a 47-year-old father was knocked off his motorcycle in an apparent road rage crash in Oakland, said East Bay News. The man is now paralyzed from his waist down.

The Social Security Administration says that people with the types of injuries that result in massive long-term disability may be approved for benefits. The initial checkpoints to determine if a person may be eligible for disability include:

  • Inability to work in previous field.
  • Inability to adjust to other work.
  • Long-term disability expected to last longer than a year or result in death.

It's important to remember that Social Security only covers total disability - not short-term or partial because a person is able to work part-time.

Contacting An Attorney

People who are suffering from serious long-term injuries after a car accident should have an experienced Social Security Disability attorney on their side to represent their rights. If you or a family member is facing a lifetime of challenges because of a car accident, contact a disability attorney today to discuss your options.

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