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A Guide to Disability Claims

April 8 2023 | Disability Claims

If an accident in Connecticut leaves you with a permanent disability, financial assistance is often available through one or more insurance programs. You may qualify for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance system, for example, or a personal injury claim payout. Below are answers to frequently asked questions to get an idea of what to expect from the disability claims process.

Am I Eligible for Disability Benefits?

The definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. To be eligible for financial benefits through a disability claim, your impairment will need to be included on the list of qualifying conditions. These lists are unique based on the type of claim. However, most cover the same or similar disabilities, such as traumatic injuries that cause permanent brain damage, paralysis or the loss of an important bodily function.

What Type of Disability Claim Do I Have?

You may be eligible for disability benefits through one or multiple sources. Some of the most common options are:

  • Disability insurance: if you purchased a long-term disability (LTD) or short-term disability (STD) insurance policy through an insurance agent, you may qualify for benefits through your insurer after suffering a catastrophic injury.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): the federal Social Security Administration will pay monthly benefits to disabled workers who have paid into the system through FICA taxes while they were employed.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): another type of disability claim through the Social Security Administration that provides financial benefits to people with disabilities who have little to no income or assets, as well as the elderly and the blind.
  • Veterans disability claim: tax-free benefits are available to veterans who became disabled as a result of active military duty, as well as to some veterans who suffer post-service disabilities. These benefits are managed through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Personal injury claim: if someone else’s negligence caused your disability, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your ongoing medical expenses, including a lifetime of care for permanent impairment, through a personal injury claim.

It can be difficult to know which type of disability claim to file. An attorney can go over all of your options with you in detail.

What Benefits Are Available?

The exact coverage or payments available for a disability will depend on the type of claim and the circumstances. Most disability benefits provide long-term financial assistance to make up for the fact that the disabled individual can no longer work due to his or her injury or illness. Disability status could lead to temporary or lifelong payments from one or more programs to cover lost wages and lost future capacity to earn. Coverage for required medical care and live-in services may also be available, depending on the type of disability program.

What Is a Private Disability Claim?

Private disability insurance is a contract that exists between an insurance company and a policyholder, where the insurer will provide a specific amount of coverage if the client becomes ill or injured and is unable to work. If you file a disability claim with your insurance company but it gets rejected, you may need to open a dispute. A successful dispute against your insurer could lead to compensation for your emotional distress, a breach of contract, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and more.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?

Almost all disability claim applications are rejected on the first try. You can improve your chances of being accepted, however, by hiring an attorney at the beginning of the process. A disability claims lawyer can help you with the application process and submitting proof of your disability. 

If your claim gets denied initially, your lawyer can help prepare you for an appeal. This is an official request for a higher office to review the claim and potentially come to a different decision. Professional insight from a disability attorney can help make the lengthy and complex disability claims process easier.

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