Is Social Security Your Only Option?

When dealing with a devastating injury, a disability that impedes your ability to work or a condition that interferes with your daily life, the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability program can act as a social safety net to hopefully rehabilitate citizen in need of help. There are a few drawbacks to the path toward disability benefits, and the benefits themselves may not be all you need. Consider the social security system's benefits and other options that could support your treatment and hopefully your recovery.

What Does Social Security Deliver?

Social security disability benefits give beneficiaries payments based on how much they've paid into social security. These payments are called covered earnings and are calculated using your Average Indexed Monthly Earning (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The amount is different for everyone, but many low-income workers or people who are barely able to support their standard of living with their current job may not be able to maintain a living with the social security payments alone.

That's also assuming you qualify for social security. The social security disability system has a strict set of fraud-combating policies to keep the limited funds in the hands of people who actually need assistance. This means that any disability claim must be accompanied with medical evidence and proven circumstances showing that you need the assistance.

In many cases, this means working with medical professionals to get the proof you need and filing the proper paperwork with language that properly describes your circumstances. It's often necessary to hire a social security disability lawyer to make sure that you receive benefits in a timely fashion instead of struggling for years to get the right combination of evidence and supporting documents.

What Else Is Available?

As you consider social security disability benefits, consider other benefits that you may be eligible for as well. Receiving other benefits may reduce or cancel out your social security benefits, but such transitions can be planned as a series of backup plans.

Was your condition caused by someone else, as in a car accident, a workplace injury, a situation with faulty equipment, a physical altercation, or mental abuse? Was the other party an individual, an employer, a business that you frequent, or a vendor supplying a service that caused the problem? These questions can answer not only whether you need a personal-injury or worker's compensation claim opened but also the amount of compensation you could realistically receive.

A legal challenge against an adversary can be more challenging since they will likely defend their innocence or fight for a lower rate, but a lawyer can help you push for the most compensation possible. This doesn't mean that you have to give up social security benefits, since your lawyer can still file your claim and either handle the other opportunities as well or refer you to a partner who handles other areas of law.

Are you a military veteran? Veterans who were affected by their military service qualify for another type of disability that delivers compensation for life depending on the severity of those disabilities. You'll still need to prove your condition's severity, as well as an exact set of evidence showing that the condition is connected to military service, but a lawyer can help you build a better claim than you could working on your own.

Contact a social security disability lawyer to begin working on your claim and to look for other compensation opportunities.