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Injuries to the cervical spine can often leave people paralyzed and unable to work to support themselves. If you have a serious injury or health condition that prevents you from going to work and supporting your family, you might qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration to help pay for day-to-day needs and medical care.
If you or a loved one suffered a cervical spine injury and is considering filing for disability benefits, call Fayetteville, AR cervical spine disability lawyer Ken Kieklak today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law offers free legal consultations on disability cases and can help you file your disability claim and fight denials and rejections. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 251-7767.
Qualifying Disabilities Caused by Cervical Spine Injuries
The cervical spine is made up of the first 7 vertebrae of your neck starting at the base of your skull. Vertebrae are hollow bones that form a tube around your spinal cord to protect the nerves from injury and irritation. The bones are padded by soft tissue and cartilage called “discs” that help prevent the bones from rubbing. Any serious trauma to your neck can damage these bones and the tissue between them, potentially causing damage to your spinal cord.
The spinal cord is responsible for sending signals from your brain to the rest of your body. Parts of your face and head get the signals directly from the brain, but your arms, legs, and the rest of your body below the neck gets signals through the spinal cord.
Any damage to the spinal cord can cause your brain to lose communication with the rest of your body below the point of injury. Damage to the lumbar spine (in your lower back) can often mean paralysis in your legs and inability to walk. Damage to the cervical spine, because it is so high up, can cut off communication with your arms, legs, and bodily functions below the neck. Paralysis in all four limbs is commonly called paraplegia or tetraplegia and is one of the most severe forms of paralysis.
Spinal injuries do not all cause paralysis and severe damage to the spinal cord. Many injuries to the bones and soft tissue can be healed through intensive medical care and rehabilitation, and you may be able to recover almost fully from an injury. However, even some of the less severe injuries can cause constant pain and discomfort that makes it impossible to perform physical labor or hold your head up for a prolonged period.
Moderate injuries could cause a combination of physical pain and limitations on motor functions and sensations due to impingement on the spinal cord. Many of these injuries, if severe enough, could qualify for disability under certain categories of disorders approved by the SSA.
SSDI Disability Benefits for Cervical Spine Injuries
If you qualify for disability benefits through SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), you may be able to receive ongoing disability payments to help support you and your family. These disability benefits are usually paid based on your wages at the time of the injury. In the same manner that Social Security retirement benefits are based on your income at the time of retirement, your disability benefits are calculated based on the wages you received.
Disability benefits are paid periodically. Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, there is typically no way to “settle” disability benefits to get a lump sum. Instead, these benefits will be paid regularly until your disability improves or you no longer need them.
Your family can also receive benefits if you qualify for disability. These benefits usually total an additional 50% to 80% of the total benefits you receive, meaning your family as a whole can receive up to 150% or 180% of your calculated benefits. Your spouse typically qualifies for benefits to support them, but minor children living in your household will also typically qualify to receive additional benefits to help support their care and expenses while you receive disability.
While receiving disability benefits, you may also have limited opportunities to continue to work to supplement your benefits. These “trial work periods” allow you to continue to perform limited work duties to earn more income without disqualifying yourself from receiving benefits. These and other incentives can encourage you to get back on your feet during the recovery process, but the benefits can also continue to support you if your disability is simply too severe to work.
Call Our Fayetteville Cervical Spine Disability Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
Talk to an attorney about what benefits you might be entitled to through SSDI and how to apply. If your benefits have been denied or suspended, our attorney may be able to help get your benefits restored. To schedule a free consultation, call Fayetteville cervical spine disability lawyer Ken Kieklak today at (479) 251-7767.