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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

FAQ: Benefits available for disabling conditions

Injuries and illness are a part of everyday life, but sometimes they are damaging enough to prevent the victim from returning to work for a while. This is a scary situation. Missing work time creates difficulty in supporting the family and keeping up with the new medical bills. However, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

Q: What benefits can I receive?

A: Benefits will depend on the nature of your injury. There are 3 types of workers' compensation benefits for disabling conditions, based on your ability to keep working and how long your injury will likely last. Even if you return to work with less duties or duties more suited to your current capability, you may be able to receive benefits as well.

If your condition was not caused at your workplace and it is predicted to last at least a year, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD).

Having a doctor's report of your condition is crucial for applying to any type of benefit. It also proves your eligibility in the long term if you need to keep receiving payments.

Q: How long do benefits last?

A: This depends on the type of benefits you are receiving. Temporary Total Disability lasts for a maximum of 400 weeks while Temporary Partial Disability lasts for 350. If your condition is more permanent, you may be able to receive benefits for a longer period of time.

SSD benefits can last a lifetime if needed, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. If you return to work or get another job, your SSD payments might cease.

Q: How do I apply?

A: For workers' comp, you will need to file a claim, which will then be reviewed. Employers can dispute the claim but issues can often be resolved through mediation rather than going to court. Make sure you also inform your manager of the injury when it occurs.

For SSD benefits, you will need to fill out an application (usually online) but you need to make sure you have gathered all the necessary information.

You may also consider talking to a skilled attorney who works with SSD and workers' comp applicants. They can help you figure out which type of disability benefit you should seek and make sure you apply correctly to avoid a denial.

Q: What if my SSD application is denied?

A: Unfortunately, denials happen far too often. The good news is that you can appeal your application. This is where an attorney is especially important. They will understand the nuances of the system and be able to effectively appeal an application for the highest chances of success.

If you have been denied, do not give up. Many people are denied but are able to secure benefits after an appeal.

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