If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, it’s important to understand all of the variables that affect your compensation. This includes how your settlement might affect your right to Social Security disability benefits.
Understanding How Settlements Can Affect SSDI and SSI Payments
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are earned through work credits accumulated over time. There is a limit to how much income you can continue to earn through work and still receive SSDI benefits, but a personal injury settlement is not considered wages unless it includes compensation for lost income. This means, your personal injury settlement is unlikely to affect your SSDI benefits unless you were fully employed at the time of your car accident and are now receiving SSDI benefits because you’ve been left with injuries that prevent you from returning to work.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are for people with very low incomes and minimal assets. If you are currently receiving SSI payments, there is a good chance a personal injury settlement would affect your right to benefits by putting you over the asset limit. However, you may be able to set up a special needs trust that would allow you to benefit from the settlement while keeping your SSI benefits.
If you’re currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, you should discuss your concerns with a qualified personal injury attorney. Your attorney can explain how your SSDI or SSI benefits might be affected by a settlement and explain what actions you should take to maximize your total compensation. Different approaches may be necessary depending on your other sources of income, whether you were employed at the time the car accident occurred, and if your injuries have worsened a preexisting condition.
Have You Been Injured in a Louisiana Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Louisiana car accident, you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation. Please contact us online, or call our Alexandria office to schedule your free consultation.