One of the questions that can be a source of great anguish is whether or not an injured employee should apply for Social Security Disability benefits. It requires the employee to consider that he or she may never be able to return to be a productive member of the workforce. The very thought of it can bring visions of having the stigma of being a statistic attached for life.
Unfortunately, applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is something that many injured employees must consider – sometimes sooner rather than later. For example, if the employee has a condition that will require a great deal of future medical treatment, the employee may wish to apply as early as possible. This is because once the claim has been accepted as compensable by Social Security, the employee can ultimately apply for Medicare benefits. There is often a lengthy waiting period before Medicare benefits commence, so in that case, the sooner the application for SSD the sooner the Medicare benefits begin. For employees who would not have health insurance after settling a case and resigning from their job, this is very important.
An application for SSD is also very helpful if the employee intends to seek catastrophic designation for his or her workers’ compensation claim. The fact that a worker is receiving SSD for the work injury is very persuasive in the application for catastrophic designation.
Applying for SSD is a difficult decision to make. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you by discussing the pros and cons of an application and guide you to an attorney who specializes in SSD filings if appropriate.