The weeks and months after a serious car accident can be uncertain, confusing and scary for victims. How long will it take to heal from these injuries? What can be done about the mounting bills and lack of income during recovery? Will life ever be the same again? Thousands of people recover completely from car accidents in time, and go on to live their lives. Unfortunately, for many others, the effects of a bad crash can be long-term. Some injuries, such as spinal fractures or head wounds, can affect a victim for the rest of his or her life.
According to Disabled World, almost 4 percent of Tennessee’s population is currently experiencing some type of disability that makes everyday living difficult. Some of these people have been the victims of accidents. With long-term disabilities, it can be hard or impossible to return to work. Unfortunately, the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be daunting.
Getting Accepted For Disability Is A Step-By-Step Process
According to the Social Security Administration, disability benefits are paid based on a victim’s complete inability to work long-term. Applicants must prove that their disability renders them incapable of working for longer than a year. Other factors that can determine eligibility include:
- Not being able to adjust to any other type of job.
- Inability to perform the work required at current or former job.
- Disability is expected to last longer than a year or result in death.
A multitude of auto accident injuries can result in long-term disabilities. For example, the Mayo Clinic says that traumatic brain injuries, which are very common in car accidents, can physically damage the brain for years or for a lifetime, resulting in a person’s inability to work and even function normally. Also, spinal pain resulting from an accident can last for two years or even longer, and greatly affect a sufferer’s quality of life and ability to work. These injuries may certainly qualify a person for Social Security Disability, if severe enough.
What about the psychological aspects of a serious car accident? Post-traumatic stress disorder affects millions of Americans, many of whom were in accidents, says the National Institute of Mental Health. It can result in long-term fear, anxiety and depression so severe that it restricts or prevents a person’s ability to work and function. The Social Security Administration has approved many sufferers of PTSD for benefits. When applying for disability for a mental condition, it helps to be prepared with thorough documentation from doctors and therapists.
How An Attorney Can Help
It isn’t always easy to be approved for Social Security benefits, but contacting a personal injury attorney with experience in disability cases can help. The application process can be a lengthy ordeal, often with denials and appeals. A qualified attorney will know the best way to get through this process and can get you the benefits you need.