Aside from the stress of adapting to the injury itself, spinal cord injuries can also have a big impact on your employment situation. The decrease in mobility may affect your ability to do your job, or even travel to work at all. This financial pressure leads many to wonder if a spinal cord injury qualifies for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration Blue Book, disorders of the spine do qualify for SSD benefits. However, every injury is different. With that in mind, the Social Security Administration will only approve SSD claims with evidence that your injury prevents you from working. Without sufficient documentation, the Social Security Administration could deny your SSD claim.
What documentation can I use to apply for SSD benefits?
The Social Security Administration reviews:
- The Adult Disability Report (details your injury and your work history)
- W-2 form(s) and/or self-employment tax return information from the previous year
- Any pay stubs, award letters, or settlement agreements from worker’s compensation benefits (if applicable)
- Doctor’s reports
- Test results
- Medical records
- Birth certificate or proof of U.S. citizenship
Along with these documents, you are eligible to claim SSD benefits if you paid into Social Security in the past five years. If you have not paid into Social Security in that time frame, you may still qualify for Supplemental Social Income (SSI) benefits.
How much will I receive from SSD benefits?
The amount of the monthly benefit check depends on how much you earned each year. This online calculator can help you estimate what your monthly benefit would be.
Applying for Social Security benefits can be a complicated process. More people than ever before are applying for benefits. In turn, the Social Security Administration has narrowed their requirements. If you have questions about how to best represent your claim to the Social Security Administration, an experienced advocate can help you navigate the process.