While many car accidents result in only minor injuries, some accident-related injuries can have a lasting impact on your life. If your injury prevents you from working and is expected to last for a significant amount of time, you may consider pursuing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help cover your medical expenses, lost earnings and other expenses caused by the accident.
There are a wide range of injuries caused by car accidents that may qualify for Social Security Disability:
- Burns – If you suffer burns on your arms, legs, torso, head or face that impair functional use of a body part, you may qualify for benefits.
- Back injuries – Car accidents can cause new back injuries or worsening of pre-existing back problems. Some back injuries that may qualify for benefits include compression of a nerve root, spinal cord injuries or lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Soft tissue injuries – Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents because of the sudden jolting of the neck during impact.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding – If you had serious bleeding of the stomach, intestines or esophagus that resulted in the need for multiple blood transfusions, you may qualify for disability benefits.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries that prevent you from focusing on your work, completing your tasks or working with others may qualify you for benefits.
- Anxiety – Some mental health issues may arise or become worse because of a car accident, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression.
Your injury must satisfy the Social Security Administration’s criteria for a disability to be eligible for benefits. This means you must have a long-term disability that impairs your ability to work for one year or longer. Short-term injuries are unlikely to qualify for benefits. You will also need documentation of your diagnosis and its severity from a licensed medical professional to have a chance of obtaining benefits. This documentation should also establish that your injury prevents you from working.