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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37374
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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If I am permanently injured as the result of an on the job

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If I am permanently injured as the result of an on the job injury, do I stop going through worker's comp after 5 years, (I am at the 5 year mark now) to get my medical bill paid, and now, instead, file for social security disability?

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: benefit will be about the same as your full retirement age retirement benefit.

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

If you have additional follow-up questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction

I wish you the best in your future.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wonder about the SSDI clause above, which states "We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)"

Will it be a problem that I have been enrolled in grad school while I have been dealing with the injury? It is my hope that I will be able to find a different kind of job than I had before, one that I can do despite the injury, but I am having a great deal of difficulty maintaining employment, I think because of the medication I take for the pain involved with my injury. It is affecting my school work too.

I actually may have just answered my own question. Because I think I will be eligible because if I can find work and keep work, it's not going to be something I can do full time. I think the best I can hope for is to be an adjunct professor, part time.


Hi Monica,

Your enrollment in grad school will not prevent you from qualifying for social security. Many disabled persons collect SSDI benefits and attend school.

If you receive SSDI, you may even earn money working part time---though not much.

Social Security has what is called a trial work period. It is a period of 9 separate months where you may earn as much as you want. In 2013, any months you earn less than $750 gross wages in do not count. After you have had a total of 9 months where you earned more than $750 gross, you will be able to work and continue to receive benefits so long as you do not earn more than $1,040 per month.

Here is a link to a social security site which explains this in greater detail:

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,


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Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Monica. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have, or simply ask for me by name in the first sentence of your new question:

Thanks again.


When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It would be tremendously appreciated.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, yes, I will do that (all of the above re: bookmarking, asking for you by name, and rating you 9-10)

God bless,


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