If you have been injured on the job and have received a workers’ compensation settlement, you may be wondering if you are also eligible for disability benefits. This is a valid question, and the answer depends on a few factors that make each case unique. By better understanding the process and what to expect, you can be better prepared to make a decision about your next steps.
What Is a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
A workers’ compensation settlement is a traditional agreement formed between you and your employer that resolves your workers’ compensation claim. This type of settlement is also known as a compromise and release. Once you have reached an agreement, the insurance company will pay you a lump sum of money, and in exchange, you will agree to release your employer from any future liability.
Many factors can affect the amount of your settlement, including the severity of your injuries, how long you have been out of work, and whether you are able to return to work in the future.
What Are Disability Benefits?
Disability benefits are formal financial support paid to people who cannot work because of a physical or mental condition. These benefits can come from various sources, including the government, private insurance, and employers.
To receive disability benefits, you must first prove that you have a condition that prevents you from working. You also need to show that you have tried to find work that accommodates your condition and have been unsuccessful.
Applying for disability benefits can be a long and complicated process, so it is important to understand all of the requirements before you begin.
Can I Get Disability Benefits After a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the type of injury you have and the terms of your settlement.
If you have a permanent disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked for a certain number of years and paid into Social Security. If you do not meet the requirements for SSDI, you may still be eligible for other types of disability benefits. These benefits are typically provided by private insurance companies or employers.
If you are unsure which benefit is right for you, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your options. There are several different routes you can take after a workers’ compensation settlement, and the best option depends on your circumstances and the nature of your injuries.
Common Reasons Disability Benefits End
After a workers’ compensation settlement and earning disability, your benefits may eventually end. The most common reason is that the SSA has determined that you are no longer disabled and can return to work.
There are a few different ways that the SSA can make this determination, including:
- You have reached retirement age. If you are over the age of 65, your disability benefits will automatically end, and you will no longer be collecting them. However, this does not mean that you are now left without any financial support. It will only change the type of benefits you are receiving, as your disability benefits will automatically convert into traditional retirement benefits.
- Your condition has improved. If your medical condition has improved to the point where you are able to return to work, your benefits will end. The SSA will require you to submit updated medical evidence showing that your condition has improved before they decide.
- You can return to work. If you can return to any type of work, even if it is not your previous job or at your previous salary, your benefits will be terminated. The SSA has a work incentive program that allows you to keep your benefits for a period of time while you adjust to working again.
- Your benefits have been suspended. In some cases, your benefits may be suspended rather than terminated. This typically happens when the SSA is investigating whether you are still eligible for benefits. They may require you to submit updated medical evidence or attend an in-person meeting before they make a decision.
These are the most common reasons why disability benefits may come to an end. It is important to keep in mind that even if your benefits are terminated, you may still be eligible for other types of benefits, such as Social Security retirement benefits or other private insurance. An experienced attorney can help you process your options and make sure that you are taking the best possible course of action for your individual circumstances.
Why You Need a Disability Attorney
If you are receiving disability benefits, it is important to have an experienced disability attorney on your side. There are several different reasons why this is the case, including:
- Your attorney can help you understand your options. There are several different ways to get disability benefits. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options and make sure you are taking the best possible course of action.
- You need someone to help you navigate the appeals process. If your benefits are terminated, you have the right to appeal the decision. This can be complicated and overwhelming, but an experienced attorney can help you navigate it and give you the best chance of success.
- You need someone to help you deal with the SSA. Dealing with the SSA can be frustrating and time-consuming for someone with no experience with it. Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of a disability attorney can help make the process much smoother and remove any stress from the situation.
Contact Kampf, Schiavone & Associates Today
If you have questions about your disability benefits or if you are facing the termination of your workers’ compensation benefits and need to secure other financial support, Kampf, Schiavone & Associates can help. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help you understand your options and take the best possible action to get the money you need to support yourself and your family. Contact us today as the first step in getting the help you need.