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Will a Personal Injury Settlement Affect My SSDI Benefits in MA?

If you can no longer work due to a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). SSDI payments are based on your current earnings, with the average amount being $1,197 monthly in 2018. Let’s say you are receiving SSDI benefit payments for an injury or illness and you are injured in a separate accident due to another’s negligence. You file a lawsuit and are awarded a lump sum of money for your damages. Will this settlement impact your SSDI benefits in MA?

Fortunately, the answer to the above question is a resounding “No.” SSDI is not affected by a personal injury settlement in MA. SSDI is a federal program for individuals who cannot work due to disability. To receive these benefits, the disabled individual must go through a thorough screening process.

Personal injury settlements are an entirely different animal. When negligence is acknowledged between two parties, the injured party will likely receive an agreed upon sum of money as compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. SSDI benefits and personal injury settlements are not in conflict with one another. Your SSDI benefits will not be reduced if you receive a personal injury award, even if it’s substantial. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

SSDI Benefits and Unearned Income

SSDI benefits are intended to help you stay afloat if a disability prevents you from working for a period of time, or indefinitely. These benefits can even extend into retirement and provide support for dependents. Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – which is the low-income version of the program – SSDI does not limit the amount of unearned income or assets you are allowed to have. There is a limit on the amount you can earn by working, but that does not apply to personal injury settlements. And just as there are no limits on funds you can receive through an injury lawsuit, there are no limits on other types of unearned income if you are on SSDI. This includes interest income, a spouse’s income, and income from investments.

How Can I Apply for SSDI?

If you are unable to work due to a disability, you may wish to apply for SSDI benefits. In addition to being able to demonstrate that you cannot perform your usual job tasks, you must also prove that you are unable to reasonably be trained for another job due to your age, physical or mental fitness, or your level of education. Further, you must have paid into Social Security at some point during the past 10 years through your previous job(s), and you must have worked a minimum amount of years during that time frame (usually five).

The process to apply for SSDI benefits can be long and complex, and most claims are denied at first. This shouldn’t discourage you; many previously-denied claims are accepted during an appeals process. As such, it is imperative that you obtain legal counsel if you wish to apply for SSDI. A MA injury lawyer can help you obtain the benefits you deserve if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas

If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable lawyers have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Whether you have questions about SSDI or SSI benefits, or you wish to bring an injury lawsuit against someone who has caused you harm, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.