If you receive Social Security benefits and are thinking about bringing a personal injury lawsuit, consult with an attorney— because the receipt of any settlement funds from a lawsuit may affect your Social Security benefits.
The two largest federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While both are administered by the Social Security Administration, the two programs are different in many ways.
What Is SSDI?
is an entitlement program that pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you worked long enough, paid into the system for a certain number of years, and have a medical condition that meets the program’s definition of disability. The program is funded by Social Security taxes.
What Is SSI?
, on the other hand, is a needs-based program that pays benefits to those with demonstrated financial needs and medical conditions that meet the program’s definition of disability. The program is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes.
Will My Personal Injury Lawsuit Affect My Social Security Benefits?
Maybe—and it depends on the type of benefits you do or will receive.
Because SSI is a needs-based program, any settlement funds could affect your SSI benefits. You must report all income, assets, and other aid, including money recovered from a personal injury lawsuit. However, you can take steps to lessen this impact and protect your SSI benefits while pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, such as establishing a . To fully explore your options, consult with an attorney experienced in SSI benefits.
On the other hand, because SSDI is an entitlement program based on your participation in the system for a certain number of years, SSDI benefits are not dependent on your income. If you collect both SSDI and SSI benefits, a personal injury settlement could affect your overall payment.
The federal assistance programs are important yet complicated, and you must take every step necessary to comply with their requirements. To best protect your benefits, tell your personal injury attorney right away if you receive Social Security benefits, especially SSI benefits.
Will I Lose a Personal Injury Lawsuit Because I Am on Disability?
Receiving government disability assistance does not prevent you from bringing a personal injury lawsuit or receiving compensation for your injuries. However, any money you recover may reduce your Social Security benefits. Talk to an experienced attorney with a background in these types of cases to best understand how to preserve your benefits.
Contact Our Hartford, Connecticut, Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether you have suffered a complicated injury outside of work—like an accident with a distracted driver—or a serious work-related incident, we are here to help. Our firm has helped injured, ill, and disabled people in Connecticut since 1989. We can advise you as to what you should and should not do to preserve your claim. We can also help evaluate options related to Social Security benefits.
If you were injured, our experienced Connecticut trial attorneys for a free and confidential case consultation. Request an evaluation by calling (860) 875-7000, emailing , or completing the on the right-hand side of your screen. We look forward to speaking with you.