Should I apply for workers compensation benefits AND social security disability?

by Anonymous
(Nassau County, NY)

Greetings. I'm a 53 year old single woman living in Nassau County, NY. I was delivering mail for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and was struck by a motor vehicle on August 7, 2009. I sustained a fracture and torn ligament of my dominant right wrist. I've had 3 surgeries for repair and reconstruction. The last one was in October of 2010.

I'm still receiving physical therapy and have limited range of motion and substantial pain. It's been over 2 years since the accident and I've been receiving workers compensation benefits. I have not yet returned to that job or my second job as a personal trainer.

My attorney said early on that I will be awarded whatever the driver was insured for. If that is minimal coverage, after the lawyer's fee and workers compensation payback that could leave me with very little, considering I may not be able to resume either job. Is my lawyer correct?

Also, should I apply for Social Security disability and would that be handled by my attorney? Would Social Security affect my workers compensation benefits? Thank you so much for any information you can offer.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Should I apply for workers compensation benefits AND social security disability?":

Anonymous (Nassau County, NY):

Our policy is not to interfere with the Attorney-Client Relationship. Therefore we can't say if we feel your Attorney is or isn’t correct. You state your Attorney told you early on you would be “awarded whatever the driver is insured for”. You then referred to the amount as “minimal”.

It sounds like your Attorney told you that you would be receiving the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Policy limits means the maximum amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance.

You asked if Social Security Disability benefits will affect your Workmans Compensation benefits. It really will be the other way around. The amount of Workmans Compensation benefits can influence your Social Security benefits. The United States Social Security Administration is very strict about financial offsets from other sources of income.

Normally Attorneys do not apply for their clients’ Social Security Disability payments. Completing the Social Security application is a daunting task. There are many personal questions to be answered. There are also at least 2 interviews you will have to endure. These are matters which your attorney normally can’t handle.

The best advice we can give is to sit down with your Attorney and ask her all the questions you may have

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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