Burn injuries are often incredibly severe, especially in industrial accidents or workplace injuries. If you faced severe burn injuries and now have difficulty working to support yourself, you could be entitled to disability benefits to help you on an ongoing basis. Fayetteville disability lawyer Ken Kieklak explains your options for compensation and benefits and how we can help you apply for disability after a burn injury at work in Arkansas.
Should I Apply for Disability After a Workplace Burn Injury in Arkansas?
If you faced an injury that leaves you with a severe disability, you could be entitled to file for disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). However, there are other ways to seek compensation for the injury at the outset. From there, disability benefits can help supplement your expenses on an ongoing basis.
When people are injured at work in Arkansas, they can usually apply for Workers’ Compensation. This can cover medical bills and pay replacement wages for many injury victims. However, workers’ comp. is often limited to paying for only a certain time. Burn injuries can be total body injuries that leave you totally disabled, but they could also be partial disabilities, resulting in different levels of proportional benefits. In either case, the disability could be permanent or might only be temporary depending on the severity of the injury, resulting in coverage that lasts for different periods. In some cases, Workers’ Compensation might not pay enough to cover your needs, and limits on workers’ comp. payments could mean that payments will not last longer than a few months before you are expected to get back to work.
Instead of filing for workers’ comp., you might also be entitled to file a lawsuit. If you were working as an independent contractor or you were injured by a third party, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit instead of a workers’ comp. claim. This can help with burn injuries from a construction accident, vehicle fire, or other serious injuries. The damages from a lawsuit can be set up to help pay for ongoing lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering needs.
In any case, disability benefits might be available on an ongoing basis to help you. If you are too injured to work, you could qualify for benefits for your burns and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. Sometimes, these benefits are available to supplement workers’ comp. payments or personal injury damages, and you should always talk to an Arkansas burn injury lawyer about applying for these benefits and how to structure payments to maximize your benefits.
Qualifying for Disability with Severe Burns in Arkansas
To apply for Social Security Disability with burn injuries, you first need to assemble evidence showing that you qualify for disability benefits. The SSA looks at injuries and medical conditions that qualify for disability on a case by case basis to determine whether the applicant qualifies by checking that their disability meets the SSA’s medical criteria and that it is severe enough.
The SSA allows people to claim disability benefits for burns whether they are heat burns, chemical burns, or electrical burns. If the burns affect other soft tissue, the SSA will recognize the injuries as a disability if they require frequent surgical management over a 12-month period. If the burns do not affect other tissue, they will look for severe limitations lasting at least 12 months.
In any case, to qualify for disability benefits, the burn must be severe enough that it impedes your ability to work to support yourself. People who can still work despite the pain of an injury often do not qualify for disability benefits. You should talk to a Fayetteville, AR workplace injury lawyer about what medical evidence you need to help prove to the SSA that your condition is severe enough to warrant disability benefits
How Do I Apply for SSDI Benefits in Arkansas with Burn Injuries from Work?
How to apply for disability benefits in Arkansas will depend on what type of disability benefits you are applying for. For those who do not have a significant work history, the need-based SSI program (supplemental security income) might be their only option. However, those who have a history of working and paying Social Security taxes can apply for SSDI instead. If you do not have a work record of your own, you can often claim benefits on your spouse’s record or, if you were disabled before turning 22 years old, you can claim benefits on a parent’s record. In some cases, you will apply to both programs since SSDI has mandatory waiting periods during which SSI might be able to supplement your benefits.
The actual process of applying includes filling out forms and submitting them with the SSA to request benefits for your condition. These forms require biographical information and medical information.
When you apply to the specific program you want benefits from, the SSA will request very detailed medical information. This often means filling out paperwork that explains your physical and mental abilities and how your injury or illness interferes with those abilities and work tasks. In many cases, you will also need a medical evaluation so that the SSA has proof that a doctor agrees with your assessment. In some cases, the SSA might request additional paperwork or they may request an evaluation by a doctor they choose.
When you apply, it is important to have a lawyer help with your paperwork. Mistakes or missing information can lead to benefits being denied. If your benefits are denied for any reason, you might need the help of a lawyer to apply for reconsideration or to appeal if you were denied disability benefits in Arkansas
Call Our Fayetteville, AR Disability Lawyer for a Free Case Consultation
If you have a serious burn injury from work, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today to seek help getting compensation and disability benefits for your injury. Our Fayetteville burn injury lawyer represents disability applicants and injury victims, and he fights to get their applications accepted so they can get the benefits they need for their injuries. For a free case consultation, call us today at (479) 316-0438.
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