FAQ: Social Security Disability Related to Criminal and Civil Cases
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a confusing enough problem on its own. But when you have a complicated case, it can make the whole process seem impossible. One example might be the question “Can I get SSDI if I was injured in a crime or personal injury?”
Fortunately, our Memphis attorneys deal with complicated questions like this all the time. For over 30 years, we’ve helped the people of Memphis get SSDI. And we can help you answer some of the most challenging issues facing SSDI applicants.
What Qualifies You for SSDI
SSDI functions like a public insurance program. Essentially, you pay into the system through your regular payroll taxes. Then, if later you face a disability or long-term illness that prevents you from working, you can request an insurance payment through the Social Security administration.
So your work history, the taxes you pay, and other factors determine whether or not you qualify. Here are some of the most common reasons for SSDI denial.
Can I Get SSDI If I Was Injured in a Crime?
Because SSDI works like an insurance plan, it doesn’t discriminate. This includes the ability to get SSDI if you’ve been convicted of a crime.
Whether charged with a crime and later found not guilty, found guilty of a misdemeanor, or even found guilty of a felony, you can still apply for SSDI. And you can still receive SSDI as long as you meet all the other qualifications.
That said, the SSA normally makes an exception if you were injured in the process of committing a felony. You can also be disqualified if found lying on your application or to a judge. So always be honest about your criminal history, even if it makes you nervous.
Lastly, you likely would not receive SSDI while serving time in prison. During that time, the criminal justice system pays for your costs and the SSA deems you ineligible. But if you were receiving SSDI before your prison sentence, you may still qualify again after being released. Keep in mind that if you’re able to work in prison, the judge may have questions about why you need disability outside of prison.
Can I Get SSDI After a Civil Case?
There are a lot of examples of civil cases where you might be at fault for an injury, including:
- car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- slip and falls or other injuries on your property
- dog attacks
- and more.
We call these cases “accidents” for a reason. Sometimes the person responsible did something malicious, but most of the time they didn’t mean for the injury to happen.
If you’re in that situation, you may wonder whether you can receive disability. After all, if it was your fault, will the system think you deserve it?
Similar to criminal cases, you don’t need to worry about faults after a personal injury case to determine your eligibility for SSDI. The SSA will use all the same qualifications they use for every other applicant. They generally won’t pay attention to whether something you did caused the accident.
Bear in mind, you may still be responsible for costs to the other party. SSDI and personal injury cases function separately from each other. So a civil court or legal settlement may still find you responsible, in which case you or your insurance company may have to pay.
What to Do If You Need SSDI for a Complicated Case
If you’re wondering, “can I get SSDI if I was injured in a crime?” the answer is, in many cases, yes. And if you feel like your case might be complicated, the best thing you can do is speak with an attorney.
Our Memphis SSDI lawyers have decades of experience helping people through all kinds of disability questions, including these complicated examples above. In addition, our personal injury team has helped people recover from a variety of injuries.
We understand fault and know the system inside and out. So our attorneys offer a free consultation for anyone who has questions about SSDI. We can help you understand the process and what to expect – including if we see any serious problems with your eligibility.
What’s more, we don’t get paid until we win for you. And even then, it’s only a small portion of your past due benefits. You keep everything moving forward.