In our prior post on “Paying Bills After an Injury,” we discussed private disability insurance.  We continue the segment in this post discussing Social Security Disability benefits.

Many people think that Social Security is just a retirement program.  That is not the case. Under certain circumstances, Social Security also provides disability benefits to those who are injured and cannot work.

Social Security Disability (SSD) provides monthly disability payments to those who are younger than full retirement age, unable to engage in substantial employment activities and have enough quarters of work credit to qualify for benefits.

To qualify for SSD, an injured trucker must be “disabled” under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) rules.  The SSA considers several factors in deciding if someone is disabled.

Generally, a trucker is “disabled” when he or she is not capable of doing substantial, gainful employment and his or her condition has existed or is expected to exist for at least a 12 month period.  Benefits under this program start five full months after the trucker becomes disabled.

Proving that you are “disabled” can be difficult.  Social Security denies approximately 70% – 75% of the applications for disability. Using the services of an experienced Social Security attorney is important because many of these denials are turned into accepted claims after either reconsideration or a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  Using a Social Security Disability attorney greatly increase your chances of success.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits is very important not only because of the basic financial support these benefits provide, but also because of the medical care that is provided under the Federal Medicare program if you are successful with your case.  Medicare benefits will be discussed in an upcoming post.

As a general rule, if you have worked at least five of the last 10 years, you are “insured” for purposes of SSD benefits. How much you are entitled to receive each month if found disabled and entitled to his benefit is based on how much you have “paid into” the system during your working life.

Generally, the longer someone has worked and the higher his earnings, the more he would be paid if found disabled. Individuals found disabled and entitled to these benefits may be awarded retroactive benefits. Retroactive benefits can only go back one year from the date of the initial application. There is a five-month waiting period from the date the claimant is determined to be disabled until entitlement to these benefits begins.

If you have been denied SSD benefits, contact us at 855-4-HURT-TRUCKER (855-448-7887) or email us at [email protected] or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.  We would be happy to talk with you about your claim free of charge.  If we can’t represent you, we will help you find an attorney who can.