Will My Social Security Benefits Be Affected by a Car Accident Settlement?
If you get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a car accident settlement won’t affect your benefits. However, if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a settlement could affect the benefits you receive.
Understanding the difference between SSDI and SSI is crucial to understanding whether a car accident settlement could affect your benefits. If you have any questions about pursuing damages through a personal injury claim, the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can assist you. Call (954) 633-8270 to begin a free consultation.
What to Understand About SSI and SSDI Benefits
SSI and SSDI provide financial assistance to people who live with disabilities and cannot work. While these programs offer similar benefits, both have different requirements. Here’s what to know:
Eligibility for SSDI Benefits Depends on Your Work History
For you to qualify for SSDI benefits, your disability must prevent you from working for at least one year. You must also have a certain number of work credits that you earned from working jobs that pay Social Security taxes.
SSDI has nothing to do with your income or countable resources. So, you could recover a sizeable car accident settlement and continue to receive benefits.
Car Accident Settlements Can Significantly Affect SSI Benefits
Disabled individuals with low incomes can pursue SSI benefits. These benefits allow recipients to afford basic necessities, such as food, water, shelter, and clothing. However, they cannot make more than a certain amount and receive SSI. This amount changes from year to year. Most recently, an individual cannot make more than $1,913 a month and get SSI benefits. They also can’t have more than $2,000 in countable assets.
If you receive a significant car accident settlement, this could increase your countable assets and make you ineligible for SSI. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can assess your situation and explain your options if this could affect your situation.
Do I Have to Report a Car Accident Settlement to the SSA?
You must report any changes to your income or countable assets to the SSA. If you don’t, you could face serious penalties, including revocation of your benefits. What’s more, if the SSA determines that it overpaid you, it could order you to pay that sum back. That could put you in further financial jeopardy and eat into your car accident settlement.
If I’m on SSI, Should I Still Pursue a Car Accident Claim?
Speaking to an attorney is a good way to know if pursuing a car accident claim could benefit you. If you have costly medical bills, miss time from work, and require intensive care, they’ll likely suggest pursuing damages from the negligent party.
Recoverable damages in a car accident claim or lawsuit could include:
- Medical expenses: The costs of medical care to treat your injuries directly after the accident and in the future. Compensation could account for surgeries, medications, and doctors’ co-pays.
- Lost income. Some people can work while receiving disability benefits. If your condition affects your ability to earn an income, you could include those losses in your case’s value.
- Pain and suffering: You could receive compensation for the severe physical pain you felt because of your injuries.
- Emotional distress: You could get compensated for the emotional toll of your accident and injuries. Also, the accident itself could have caused negative psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. These hardships are compensable.
- Property damage costs: You rely on your car to get from point A to point B. If it’s damaged or destroyed, you can seek financial recovery for its repairs or replacement.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: You can seek compensation for the cost of anything you spent out of pocket in relation to the accident, including childcare expenses.
A Florida accident attorney from our firm not only identifies your compensable damages, but they gather evidence to support their cost, too.
Pursuing a Car Accident Claim Could Pay for Your Injury-Related Losses
The benefits you get from SSI probably won’t come close to paying for your collision-related losses. These benefits are intended to help you make ends meet. They likely do not account for your medical bills and other damages. When you partner with our team, we can assess your situation and advise you on what comes next.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney to Learn More
As noted, a car accident settlement will only affect your Social Security benefits if you receive SSI benefits. If you receive SSDI benefits, you won’t have to worry about a car accident settlement affecting the amount of money you receive from the SSA.
If you have any questions about pursuing damages following a car accident, call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270. During your free consultation, our Miami car accident attorneys can explain how receiving a car accident settlement can affect your Social Security benefits. We can also answer your questions and explain what happens now.