Understanding Legal Challenges

Making Multiple Disability Compensation Systems Work Together

For most people dealing with disabilities, a general rule of thumb is to report all income and deal with only one disability compensation system. This is because certain legal issues can arise if you're taking money from multiple sources for the same problem, and even the perception of being helped in any way by multiple systems can lead to potentially expensive investigations or lost benefits. Here are a few situations where you can reasonably work with multiple systems as long as you stick to proper reporting:

Workers' Compensation With Severe Conditions

Are you nearing the end of your workers' compensation benefits? Are you running out of money because of system limitations? There is no reason for you to deal with additional financial hardship just because of an injury if you're covered by workers' compensation, but some patients can fall through the cracks.

First, if your company isn't paying workers' compensation insurance, get an attorney immediately. This isn't the time to argue about the situation or get your own answers about why they failed to cover your losses. The sooner you get an attorney on the task, the sooner you can get compensation from a court system or through some sort of provisional services such as temporary unemployment or local support programs while you wait for a legal decision.

If your temporary disability exceeds a year--or your state's maximum for workers' compensation--you need to consider social security disability instead. Some states use social security as their automatic next step if your medical reviews show little to no progress or worsening conditions, but not all states provide the information as you come closer to the end of your benefits.

A social security disability attorney can help you transfer the relevant information from workers compensation to social security. Even better, since medical evidence is required for social security claims officials to approve your claim, your current time on workers' compensation can be used to gather official medical documentation. Official medical statements from doctors approved for state and federal workers can go a long way.

Veterans Affairs Disability

Were you injured because of military service? Are you suddenly suffering from unknown conditions after serving in the military, or did you take a "wait and see" approach to pain and discomfort after leaving the military?

The VA (Veterans Affairs) provides percentage-based compensation payments to veterans who can prove that their conditions were caused by military service. In most cases, you will need official documentation showing how the condition could have been caused, and the time stamp for that evidence needs to be from before you left the military.

With VA disability, it doesn't matter if you have a full-time job and a living wage or not; you're being compensated for lost function, as opposed to being supported for recover by social security. That said, you can't draw money from the VA and social security at the same time; you can only use one when the other isn't providing benefits, and money earned from one system has to be reported to the other if you're using both systems.

Contact a social security disability attorney office like Van Gilder & Trzynka PC to discuss the complexities of dealing with multiple systems, and make sure that you're covered in the event of a policy change.