If you're injured in a car accident, Social Security may be one of the last things on your mind. However, before you discuss a financial settlement, you should understand how your accident might affect your Social Security payments.
Can a Car Accident Lower Your Social Security Payments in Retirement?
If you're injured in a car accident during your working years and can't work, it's possible your Social Security payments in retirement could be lower. That's because Social Security retirement benefits are based on how much you earned during your career.
If you only miss a few days or weeks of work, you may not notice any difference. Any time not covered by paid time off would be very small compared to your total earnings over your career.
However, if you're out of work for a year or longer, that could mean one or more zeroes averaged into your average annual earnings that your Social Security retirement benefits are based on.
Can You Sue for Lost Retirement Benefits?
You can sue for any financial loss as a result of a car accident or other personal injury. This includes losing Social Security benefits.
Because Social Security uses a complex formula to calculate your benefits, you should work with a Social Security lawyer to calculate your loss.
What Happens if You're Already in Retirement?
If you already retired and started receiving Social Security benefits, there should be no change to your benefits. Your benefits are based on your past work, and getting into an accident doesn't change that. You will continue to receive your benefits as normal.
What Happens if You Can't Return to Work?
If you're disabled as a result of your car accident injuries and can't return to work, you may be able to claim Social Security disability benefits. These benefits are available when you can't work in any capacity.
To apply, you'll need to have a doctor certify that you are disabled, and the Social Security Administration will sometimes ask you to see their own doctor as well. In addition, there is a lengthy application that requires your medical records and other financial information.
If you're approved, you'll receive benefits based on your previous salary and amount of time you worked. Receiving Social Security disability benefits does not mean that you give up the right to sue the person that caused your injuries.
To learn more about how a car accident might affect your Social Security benefits or how to receive disability benefits, talk to a local Social Security lawyer like Todd East Attorney at Law today.Share
28 December 2018