Good morning Monica,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Under the workers compensation system, unless and until you settle your claim and eliminate future medical care as part of your settlement, the workers' compensation carrier continues to be liable to pay for your work injury-related medical expenses.
However, if you are disabled and unable to perform your job, you should apply for social security disability (SSDI) immediately. SSDI and workers compensation are not mutually exclusive, and you may legal collect SSDI benefits while you are also receiving benefits from workers' compensation.
And, after being on SSDI for 2 years, you will automatically qualify for MediCare to pay the non work injury related medical expenses that are not covered by workers' compensation.
You do not have to choose between workers’ compensation and SSDI. So, if your physician feels that you are disabled now, you should definitely apply for SSDI.
Social Security's definition of disability is as follows:
"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Here is a link where you can apply online for your benefit: http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/Your benefit will be about the same as your full retirement age retirement benefit.
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I wish you the best in your future.