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Social Security disability: For when you can't get workers' comp

Workers' compensation insurance is a boon for any worker who suffers a debilitating injury on the job. However, what if you get hurt when you're not at work?

Imagine you suffer a waterskiing accident, or you trip and fall while going for a morning run. Imagine you develop cancer or heart disease and you can't perform your job duties anymore. Imagine you develop early onset dementia and you're cognitive abilities are declining. These debilitating health problems didn't develop at work -- nor as a result of your employment -- so you can't qualify for workers' compensation benefits because of them. This means you'll be struggling to get by financially while you can't earn an income.

Fortunately, you might be able to receive Social Security disability insurance, or SSDI, from the federal government. In instances where your illness or injury will cause you to be unable to work for a period of at least one year -- or when your condition will result in death -- you may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits to help pay for your financial needs and living expenses while you're at home and not working.

If you're dealing with a disabling illness or medical condition, don't lose hope. Benefits may be available if you understand your legal rights and know how to apply for the right kind of Social Security assistance. Ultimately, there could be different options available depending on your situation, and it's vital that you understand all of your options to select the right one and apply for it in a legally appropriate fashion.

Source: FindLaw, "If You Can't Get Workers' Comp, Can You Get SSDI?," Christopher Coble, accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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