March 17th, 2021Your job is your livelihood. When an injury or illness makes it difficult or impossible for you to work, you need a way to replace your lost paychecks. Thankfully, there are two primary ways that people in California can get replacement income when they’re unable to work: workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD). Because both are designed to give you money when you’re not capable of earning paychecks, it’s easy to get them confused. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, we help people who suffer disabling injuries and illnesses get the compensation they need to replace lost pay checks when they can no longer work. That means helping them get SSD benefits. Each injured worker’s case is unique, and some people’s injuries or illnesses mean they may be eligible for only one type of benefit. Others may be eligible for both. Our California SSD lawyers have years of experience building claims for disabled workers. That includes appeals when applications are denied.
Get the Facts on Workers’ Comp vs SSD BenefitsLaws related to workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits are completely different. They also have vastly different application requirements. Knowing the differences between these two types of compensation is important for anyone who can’t work and needs a way to replace their lost paychecks. To learn more, check out the infographic below.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation BenefitsWorkers’ compensation is a state-based, no-fault program that protects employees beginning on their first day on the job. It typically provides workers with two-thirds of their income and covers workplace injury- and illness-related medical expenses. It also shields employers from lawsuits filed by employees. Here are a few key facts to note about workers’ compensation benefits:
- They’re paid to injured workers by their employer’s workers’ comp insurance policies.
- They’re overseen by each state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.
- They’re awarded for job-related injuries, illnesses, and disabilities.
- They’re designed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
- They’re based on your earnings in the past three months.
Understanding Social Security Disability BenefitsUnlike workers’ compensation benefits, SSD is built to cover long-term, debilitating injuries. It can cover injuries and illnesses unrelated to work. It’s also a national program, unlike the state-based workers’ compensation. Here are some of the most important things to understand about SSD:
- SSD is paid by the federal government, instead of the state, and is overseen by the Social Security Administration.
- SSD benefits are awarded for non-work-related injuries, illnesses, and disabilities that prevent a person from working.
- SSD is designed to cover the injured person’s living expenses.
- SSD benefits are based on how much you’ve earned over your lifetime.
Can You Apply for Workers’ Comp AND SSD?Yes, you can apply for both. It can take months to be approved for SSD, but workers typically start receiving workers’ compensation benefits soon after their injuries. This means you can receive workers’ compensation while your SSD application is being processed and reviewed. Things get more complicated when it comes to simultaneously receiving workers’ comp and SSD benefits, so it’s worth talking to an experienced attorney about your situation before you move forward with your applications.
We’ll Review All Your Options and Help You Make the Right DecisionIn addition to workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits, California residents also may apply for the state’s own disability benefits. However, a recipient can’t receive them at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits. It’s also important to note that both state disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits are designed to be temporary; SSD benefits are designed to be more of a long-term income replacement. In fact, some SSD benefits recipients receive checks for the rest of their lives, or until they transfer to Social Security retirement benefits. Because of the complexities involved with all three types of benefits, it’s essential to have an experienced law firm on your side that is looking out for your best interests when applying for the benefits you need.
Trust Our Experience and Track Record of SuccessBoth workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits are notoriously difficult to get and retain. Both the Social Security Administration and the California Division of Workers’ Compensation have strict criteria for approving claims from injured workers. And when they deny initial applications, successfully appealing their decisions is often an uphill battle. Our team has years of experience and a thorough understanding of how state and federal bodies process claims and appeals. When you contact us, we’ll review the facts of your injury. We’ll then determine how it affects your ability to work and the best course of action for you. Contact our California SSD attorneys today for a free consultation. This blog was originally published in February 2020. It was updated in March 2021.
December 23rd, 2019The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes a percentage of every paycheck earned by workers in the U.S. That money is later paid back to workers in the form of Social Security retirement benefits. However, some people need that money sooner rather than later, especially if they suffer a serious injury or illness before retirement age that prevents them from working. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are designed to replace lost income for people whose health prevents them from earning normal paychecks. But even when workers have paid into the SSA’s system for years and years, the SSA doesn’t always approve people’s SSD claims. While it’s true that some people try to scam the SSA and get benefits when they’re perfectly healthy, many otherwise valid claims are unfairly denied. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, we believe that anyone suffering from an injury or illness that interferes with their livelihood deserves access to the money they’ve paid into the Social Security system. It’s our goal to help applicants get their claims approved, whether they’re filing for the first time or appealing the SSA’s decision. Our California Social Security Disability lawyers know what the SSA looks for when approving or denying claims, and use that knowledge to our clients’ advantage. It’s important to have an experienced law firm on your side when it comes to applying to collect the SSD benefits you’ve earned over the course of your career. There are many pitfalls that can result in claims being denied, and we can help you avoid them. Contact us today for a free consultation.
October 28th, 2019Throughout your career, you’ve likely had a significant amount of money taken from your paychecks by the Social Security Administration (SSA). That money is supposed to be reserved for retirement or if you suffer an illness or injury that prevents you from working. And while getting retirement benefits is often a straightforward process, getting Social Security Disability benefits is not. The SSA has strict criteria for the disability benefits claims it reviews, and many are denied. The administration denies claims for many reasons, including waiting too long to apply, submitting incomplete or missing paperwork, not following doctor’s orders, and more. The application process is time consuming, and denials only add to the amount of time that injured victims must wait for the money they need to get by. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California Social Security Disability lawyers know how important these benefits are for people who have been injured or developed illnesses that prevent them from working. Not having a steady income can be disastrous for you and your loved ones, and we believe that you shouldn’t have to worry about your future because of the SSA’s confusing and strict processes. Don’t let your claim get denied because of a small mistake or oversight. When you contact our legal team, we’ll review and submit your application while ensuring that it’s accurate, complete, and fulfills all the SSA’s requirements. Contact us today for a free consultation.
August 19th, 2019From the day you started your first job, you’ve paid into Social Security via deductions taken out of every paycheck you’ve earned. For most people, that money is paid back to them when they retire. But some people aren’t able to work until retirement age. Instead, they suffer injuries or illnesses that prevent them from returning to work and earning a living to support themselves and their loved ones. If that happened to you, you may be eligible to get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. SSD benefits are similar to those for retirees, but you may receive them before retirement age if a doctor rules you are unable to return to work. However, getting approved for benefits can be difficult. That’s because the Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict requirements for the claims it processes and approves. Making any of the following mistakes can put your claim in jeopardy: |
- Waiting too long to apply—The sooner you apply for benefits, the sooner you can start receiving money to replace your lost paychecks. In addition, waiting too long can make the SSA suspicious of your claim, and it may view your injury or illness as being pre-existing.
- Not taking medical care seriously—Whether you exaggerate or downplay your symptoms, fail to make your doctors’ appointments, or don’t participate in recommended rehabilitation programs, not taking your medical care seriously can be harmful to your claim.
June 19th, 2019| If you become disabled and unable to work before retirement age, the future and your ability to provide for yourself and your family can feel uncertain. But if you’ve been paying into the Social Security system, you may be eligible to receive benefits. In some cases, your spouse and child may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if you become disabled before retirement age. A portion of every paycheck you earn goes into the Social Security system. Those who qualify for the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition of disabled and have an appropriate number of years worked are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. You are generally considered disabled if your medical condition is expected to persist for more than a year and interferes with your ability to perform basic work activities such as standing, sitting, lifting, or remembering. If you become disabled, we recommend applying for benefits immediately. Processing an application may take several months.
What We Can Do to HelpThe Social Security Disability application process can be complicated, and the requirements are strict. In one 2017 study, only 42% of surveyed applicants ultimately received benefits. However, those who hired a disability attorney had nearly twice the success rate of those who didn’t: 60% for those with representation vs. 33% without. Even if your application is denied on your first try, hiring an attorney may improve your chances of appealing the decision. When you hire the California Social Security Disability attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, we can ensure your application is filled out completely and correctly, gather medical records to support your claim, communicate with the SSA on your behalf, file appeals, prep you for appeal hearings, and build a case for your disability.
As a Disabled Worker, You Deserve CompensationYou don’t have to deal with the stress of filing for disability benefits alone. Let the experienced attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve. And if we don’t get your application approved, you pay nothing. That’s our No Fee Guarantee®. Contact us today for a free case review.
May 27th, 2019If you’re like millions of Americans, you and your loved ones can’t risk losing even a single paycheck. That means that if you get injured or develop a serious illness that prevents you from working, you may be facing financial uncertainty. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits for people whose health problems keep them out of work for long periods of time, but getting those benefits is often difficult. That’s because the SSA has strict criteria for determining who gets benefits. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California Social Security Disability lawyers know how the process works, and we help people like you maximize their chances of approval in the following three ways:
- We collect evidence that proves you can’t work—The SSA is often skeptical of claims when applicants say they’re too sick or hurt to work. We can collect accident reports and medical records that prove your claim.
- We make sure your application is complete, accurate, and submitted on time—The SSA wants applications to be free from errors and oversights. Even small mistakes can jeopardize claims, but we make sure yours is airtight.
- We use our knowledge of the SSA’s processes to improve your chances—We know the ins and outs of the SSA’s review and approval processes. That means we can put our knowledge and resources to work for your family to give you the best chances of approval.
January 28th, 2019Every time American workers are issued paychecks, some of their money is deducted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). For most people, that money gets paid back when they retire. But others need that money much earlier if they suffer injuries or illnesses that prevent them from working. The SSA is responsible for overseeing benefits for both retirees and disabled workers. And while most people automatically get the benefits they’re entitled to when they retire, it’s a different story for people who can’t work due to health problems or disabilities. First-time applicants for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are often rejected. That’s because the SSA has extremely strict criteria for what it considers valid claims. Any minor mistake, oversight, or misstep during the application process can be enough for the SSA to deny a claim. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California Social Security Disability lawyers know how strict the SSA is when it comes to approving benefits for people who can’t work. We also know how devastating it can be for victims and their families when their applications are denied. That’s why we build strong claims that are designed to get approved the first time around. When you choose us to handle your Social Security Disability claim, you’ll get peace of mind knowing your claim is backed by hard evidence concerning the cause of your injury or illness and its effect on your ability to work. In addition, we’ll make sure your application is complete, accurate, and submitted on time. We know how the SSA reviews claims, and we’re ready to use that knowledge in your favor. Call today for a free consultation.
October 29th, 2018Social Security benefits aren’t just for retirees. They’re also designed to protect people who are injured or develop illnesses that prevent them from going back to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of overseeing the benefits system and determining who gets monthly paychecks, but the criteria for approving claims is strict. That means people with serious illnesses and injuries often fall through the cracks and are unable to get the benefits they deserve. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California Social Security Disability lawyers know this fact all too well. We’ve helped many people who are unable to go back to work due to health conditions apply for benefits or appeal the SSA’s decisions on their claims. In addition to having a law firm on your side that knows the ins and outs of SSD benefits claims, it’s also important to know why claims are often denied:
- Incomplete, inaccurate, or missing paperwork—The SSA wants thorough documentation of everything related to your illness or injury. If anything is missing, not completely filled out, or contains incorrect information, your claim may be denied.
- Lack of evidence concerning your illness or injury—Going to the doctor and following up with medical appointments is essential for SSD benefits eligibility. If you fail to do so, the SSA may not believe your health problems are serious enough to warrant awarding you the money you deserve.
July 30th, 2018When you’re unable to go back to work, you’re supposed to be eligible to get compensation via the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits program. But the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes it difficult for injured workers to get the money they deserve—and if you’re unfamiliar with the filing process, having a lawyer on your side can be extremely beneficial. The burden of proof for injured workers is heavy when they’re applying for SSD benefits. And in some cases, proving you were hurt at work and can’t return to your job isn’t enough. Even minor mistakes are known to jeopardize otherwise strong claims, leaving injured workers and their families scrambling to keep their heads above water. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California Social Security Disability lawyers want to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve by taking the following steps:
- We’ll present evidence that supports your claim. The SSA is skeptical of most claims by default. Saying that you were hurt at work—even if your employer agrees—isn’t enough to get your claim approved. We’ll collect evidence that proves the on-the-job accident occurred and that the injuries you suffered are severe enough to keep you out of work for the foreseeable future.
- We’ll make sure your claim is error-free and submitted on time. The SSA wants benefits claims to be complete, accurate, and submitted on time. But when you’re injured, it can be difficult to comply with those strict requirements. Let us handle the paperwork on your behalf. We know the SSA’s system, and we know what it takes to file a successful claim.
April 9th, 2018The fact that a large percentage of American workers are eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if they become disabled due to work-related illnesses or injuries is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a great safety net for workers and their families when they’re victims of accidents or other unfortunate on-the-job incidents that threaten their health. But on the other hand, the wide availability of SSD benefits means that strict standards and requirements must be met before workers can get approved for the benefits they deserve. Some of those strict standards and requirements can be and often are violated by first-time applicants, especially if they are unfamiliar with the process or proceed without the help of a | California Social Security Disability lawyer. Common mistakes that applicants sometimes make include:
- Not taking medical treatment seriously – Getting approved for SSD benefits means proving you’re suffering from an illness or injury. If you put off going to the doctor or fail to follow his or her instructions, it can harm your claim when you’re seeking benefits.
- Waiting too long to file a claim or contact a lawyer – Time is of the essence with SSD claims. Every SSD claim must go through multiple steps, and the longer you wait, the longer it will take for the Social Security Administration to process your claim.