A previous post on this blog mentioned that a Schenectady, New York, resident who gets injured at work may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits by filing an application with the Social Security Administration. These benefits may be an important component of a New Yorker’s overall plan to maintain financial stability following an accident.
As this post alluded to, Social Security disability benefits are, generally speaking, awarded without regard to fault, just like workers’ compensation benefits. This means that a New Yorker applying for disability benefits has no obligation to prove that he or she was not responsible for his or her injury, much less that someone else was negligent.
On a related point, disability benefits can also be paid without regard to whether a person was on the job or not, as the disability program covers all illnesses and injuries which, under the Administration’s rule, prevent a person from returning to the workforce long term; that is, for more than one year. Thus, while there might be some close cases in workers’ compensation because it is not clear whether a worker was on the clock or not, such is rarely, if ever, an issue in a disability case.
The bottom line for New York workers is that, even if. for whatever reason, they do not qualify for workers’ compensation, they still can, and should, consider whether filing an application for Social Security disability benefits is right for them. In this respect, many New Yorkers may find the assistance of a qualified attorney with experience handling disability cases to be invaluable in both evaluating and pursuing their options.