Winning a personal injury lawsuit can really make a huge difference in your life. It turns things around for the better, even after you have paid off your lawyer's fees. Yet, many people rarely think about what comes next. If your personal injuries have now made you unable to work, and you do not foresee how to make the settlement last until retirement, what do you do? Here is some advice on taking the next step:

Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is the government benefit given to those who prove that they are unable to work. Since you have already been out of work for the required number of months to qualify, your lawyer can help you pursue this benefit. He or she can verify that you have not been working by showing court documents from your personal injury lawsuit. Then your lawyer can fight any declination of SSDI benefits that you clearly have a right to receive.

Apply with Your Lawyer's Help

The SSA (Social Security Administration) office sees that you have a lawyer on board, they are less likely to decline your application. Applying with your lawyer's help also means that ALL of the required documentation SSA wants from you will accompany your application and decrease the delays in the decision-making process. That is exactly what you want, especially if you have already been out of work for four or more months and are struggling financially to catch up. Your settlement from your personal injury case will help sustain you financially until your SSDI decision letter arrives and the payments begin.

Still a Possibility of Being Declined

The SSA has very strict guidelines for its intake workers and deciding staff to follow. This means that, even with a lawyer's help, you could be declined. The staff are expected to prevent as many possible cases of fraud as they can, even when the cases are unclear as to whether or not they are really disabled. It is precisely why eighty-five percent of all first-time applicants are denied. As long as your lawyer stays with you, you can appeal your declination decision a few more times until you are finally awarded benefits.

Getting Benefits

Once you start receiving benefits, SSA will back-pay up to six months' worth of benefits. If you choose direct deposit, it will appear in giant chunks of money dropping into your account in a series of payments labeled "U.S. Treasury Benefit." When this happens, pay for your personal injury attorney services first, and then do what you need to do to make things financially better for yourself and your family.

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