If it is not considered wages, a personal injury award will not affect your SSDI benefits.
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and are involved in a personal injury case, you may be worried about how an award or settlement will impact your ability to receive benefits. It can be difficult to be approved for SSDI benefits, and you are likely aware that you have to report changes in income, wages, ability to work, and other life changes to the Social Security Administration, or face potential loss of benefits or other negative effects.
When it comes to personal injury cases, being on SSDI benefits brings both good news and bad news. First, the bad news. Most personal injury cases include a component of damages that are based on economic losses, including lost wages. For a person that is unable to work due to a disability, your personal injury award will likely be lower because you will not lose wages as a result of your accident. That’s because you continued to receive SSDI benefits while you were hospitalized and recovering. Because you didn’t actually lose wages, your settlement (or award if you go to trial) will reflect that reality.
This leads us to the good news. If your personal injury award does not include wages, then it will not typically impact your SSDI benefits. Your SSDI attorney can specifically advise you as to how your award will affect your benefits, but as a general rule, an injury settlement of award for injuries you have suffered should not impact your SSDI benefits unless it is meant to compensate you for lost wages. However, there may be some situations where part of your award — such as for punitive damages or interest on the award — is considered unearned income. Consult with your SSDI attorney to discuss what you must report to the Social Security Administration with regards to your personal injury settlement or award.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, our team of attorneys is knowledgeable about both personal injury law and Social Security Disability benefits. We will work with you to recover the money that you deserve for your injuries through a negotiated settlement with the insurance company or through trial, and will help make sure that the compensation that you get is structured in a way that has the least possible impact on your SSDI benefits. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation. For personal injury cases, we never charge a fee unless we get money for you.