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serious workplace injuries may qualify for workers' comp and social security disability

File for Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability

Episode 8:  Louisville workers’ compensation attorney Scott Scheynost invited Trevor Smith, to join him for a discussion about when you can file for workers comp and social security disability insurance benefits, at the same time.  Trevor is a Louisville social security disability attorney and partner at the Smith and Wax Law Firm.  They have been working together on Kentucky workers’ compensation cases and disability cases, for over a decade.

Workers’ compensation and social security disability (SSDI) cases can sometimes be filed at the same time. This will allow you to have another source of income, during your challenging time. In addition, with SSDI, you may have the chance of additional medical benefits that were not just from the accident. Both lawyers use contingency fees, which means the client will not have to pay a penny, unless you win. The attorney fees, court costs and some expenses are paid once the case is over.

If someone has been disabled and unable to work for at least a year or longer, look at disability, but if you can’t go back to work consider filing for both. In order to have a case for social security disability, a client has to have at least one severe impairment.  When it comes to workers’ compensation, its usually physical. A lot of workplace injuries have to do with back injuries. Trevor usually asks if you have a severe impairment that is likely to prevent working for 12 months or more. If you are able to answer yes, it’s likely you have a shot at social security disability benefits.

Social security disability cases and workers’ compensation are different, so just being approved for one, does not mean you’ll get the other. Each has different standards.

When filing for workers’ compensation the first thing you will do is sign waivers.  This allows your attorney to get a free copy of your medical records, which can only be done once, otherwise, it could cost you around $300-400. The relationship between Scott and Trevor allows them to use the records to file for social security disability as well. SSDI needs these medical records, because SSDI looks at everything.

Social security disability will look at your mental health and physical health. Nothing is “pre-existing” when it comes to SSDI. On the other hand, workers’ compensation will only deal with the immediate injury. Something important to remember is workers’ compensation focuses on the percentage of disability (“impairment rating”), whereas social security disability comes into play there is a 100% chance you can’t work.

If you do not take advantage of the social security disability benefits, you are potentially leaving money on the table. Social security disability is a long process, so the sooner you start the better and sooner you may get the money. For SSDI, you already paid into the system, for situations just like this.

 If you are able to receive social security disability, you will have a waiting period for Medicare insurance for two years. If you have never worked a day in your life, supplemental security income (SSI) allows you to have similar advantages like SSDI. To qualify for SSI, you have to be basically broke. This means you have to have less than $2,000 worth of assets. It allows you to have one house and one car, but you just have to stay less than the $2,000. This deals with assets only, which is important to remember. SSI allows you to get Medicaid with no waiting period.

If you or someone you know is over 55 and have a serious injury, there is a really strong chance of winning your case. Even if you are 20 or younger, you can still win. A good case is a good case, it just becomes easier if you’re older. If you are unable to do a 40-hour work week, this should be something to consider. Now you just have to prove it.

It is important to know that you can always go back to work with social security disability and workers’ compensation.

Workers’ comp is there to get you through a certain time, it doesn’t have to be the rest of your life. If you can recover, go back to work. If you can’t be sure to check out social security disability. Depending upon your situation, you may be able to file for workers’ comp and social security disability.

For more information about social security disability insurance benefits, contact Trevor Smith at

Contact Scott Scheynost at (502) 937-5287.  This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice.  Scott’s principal office is located at 7619 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40258.  Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.  This is an advertisement.

Louisville attorneys Scott Scheynost and Trevor Smith discuss when you can file for workers comp and social security disability.