That's a question that is surely being pondered as the 11 victims of a factory explosion in La Habra continue to recover. Two of the victims of that explosion last week reportedly suffered serious burns over 90 percent of their bodies and at last word were listed in critical condition.
Such injuries are the type that can leave a survivor permanently disabled. In addition to the physical damage done to the outside of the body, there may be damage to internal organs due to inhalation of smoke or toxic fumes.
Unable to return to work, survivors they may find themselves in a situation where they need the financial sustenance that is supposed to be provided by Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In some instances, a person may be deemed able to work on a limited basis. They may still be eligible for benefits under a determination of residual functional capacity.
But knowing when such eligibility exists and making a viable claim for the help due can be confusing without the help of someone who knows the system and what's required.
In the factory blast in La Habra on April 29, the full measure of disability from injuries may take time to determine. Officials say that in addition to the two critical burn victims, four suffered intermediate injuries. What the nature of those wounds may be isn't clear. Five others suffered minor injuries.
According to media reports, some 30 people were working in the factory polishing chrome wheel rims when the explosion happened. Firefighters had the blaze under control within an hour. A fire official says initial investigation suggests that lint and dust in factory duct work ignited and that the fire spread quickly.
Source: Orange County Register, "11 burned in La Habra explosion, fire; 2 in critical condition," Denisse Salazar, Louis Casiano and Claudia Koerner, April 29, 2014