Crowe & Shanahan
Serving Clients Throughout Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois
If you can't work because of a disability, call
1-877-213-7793 | 314-231-6660

St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

Workers' comp and disability benefits can be hard to understand

Most of us don't plan on getting becoming ill or getting hurt while on the job, but if you have, then you may be wondering whether you should file a workers' compensation or disability benefits claim.

Virtually every employer is required to take out workers' compensation coverage to cover any injuries one of their workers suffers while on the job. For example, if you work in a warehouse and hurt your back while on the clock, then you'll likely be able to file a workers' compensation claim to cover medical bills.

How do you know if you can do different work?

When your SSDI claim is evaluated, one thing that gets a lot of attention is your ability to do work, both in the type of job you have been doing and in other types of jobs. Your age, educational history and relevant skills play into this. So does your medical documentation. Your doctor evaluates your injury and can give you and SSDI personnel an idea of whether other types of work are feasible.

For instance, say that you are 60 years old and work as a construction laborer. You have always done physical work and do not have a college degree. A back injury has sidelined you, and it does not seem like you will ever get well enough to resume physical work. In such a scenario, SSDI may conclude that your chances of doing work are low and grant you SSDI.

What is the Social Security Disability 5-month waiting period?

Even if your disability is so severe that you're immediately approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you may not have any immediate relief. That's because Social Security imposes a five-month waiting period on cash benefits to beneficiaries entitled through its disability program.

The waiting period for benefits begins the first full month of eligibility based on your "allowed onset date," which is the date that controls how far back Social Security can take your claim. In other words, imagine that you were in a disabling accident in the first week of January during the year you file for benefits. Your waiting period would begin that February. Even if you were approved for benefits immediately, your check wouldn't start until July when your waiting period is over.

Is the Ticket to Work Program right for you?

If you're receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you're likely going to get information on the Ticket to Work Program. This program is free for those who choose to use it and is voluntary.

The purpose of this program is to help people eventually reduce their reliance on Social Security benefits by finding a job and new skills that can lead them back to financial independence and perhaps a new and better career than they had when they became disabled.

Can Social Security help people with mental conditions?

More than 5 million Americans with a mental disorder received Social Security benefits related to that condition. Many others, however, have seen their claims denied and fail to see helpful benefits arrive at their house. People should know the basic guidelines for benefits related to mental conditions.

  • What mental disorders may qualify a person for Social Security benefits?

Since mental illness is a very individualized disorder, the Social Security Administration (SSA) divides qualifying conditions into nine categories. These include affective disorders, anxiety, autism, organic brain damage, mental retardation, psychoses, personality disorders, sleep problems and substance abuse.

  • How does a person with one of these disorders qualify for benefits?

Avoid these common mistakes when applying for SSDI

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can be a lengthy and complicated process, even when you do everything right. Just as an example, typical times for an SSDI hearing extend to about a year and a half in Missouri. Many people also end up making one or more mistakes that further delay benefits and add difficulties along the way.

While no one can guarantee you a quick, desirable outcome, working with qualified attorneys can help you avoid errors and increase your chances of getting the benefits you need.

Disability benefits have hidden positives over retirement

Social Security may no longer be the comprehensive safety net intended for older Americans that it was designed for, but it still serves millions of people with required services. Nearly 20 percent of people in the United States collect a benefit from the administration, and not all of them are retired.

Disability benefits are one of the most important benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may offer citizens. Payments can help defray the problems caused by a sudden injury or disability that may prevent a person from working at the same time that the cost of living goes up.

Unexpected disabilities can lead to disaster without benefits

Most able-bodied Americans with sound minds do not spend much time thinking about how to manage a disability. The logistics of a new life with new capabilities are challenging enough without the limitations to a career that a disability may bring.

The chances of a significant disability, permanent or temporary, affecting even the healthiest of Americans are higher than 25 percent. As many people are financially unprepared to be earning less during recovery, disability is also a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

Reviewing your Social Security statement helps with planning

Social Security helped rescue generations of Americans from poverty and helps the rest of us worry a little less about retirement benefits. The days of thinking that our Social Security accounts will manage themselves are over, and we owe our future selves to pay attention to how our benefits develop.

Every worker in the United States receives an annual statement about their Social Security accounts. This document contains some valuable information for our retirement planning and other benefits.

Steps to follow to receive Social Security Disability Insurance

An estimated nine million Americans rely on receiving monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to be able to support themselves after they suffer disabling injuries that make it impossible for them to work. Qualifying to receive these benefits is not an easy task.

One of the first steps you'll want to take if you have suffered a disabling injury that prevents you from working is to find out whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) shares your and your doctor's perspective that you have a disability. In most cases, it considers any ailments that are expected to stick around for at least a full year and perhaps ultimately result in your death.