Discovering options for a permanent disability

Many workers in the metalworks factories, oil refineries and transportation industries of Northwest Indiana face daily workplace hazards that can one day cause serious or repetitive injury. Whether it is due to one of the most common causes of construction injury or death:

  • electrocution
  • struck by an object
  • caught in between machinery
  • crushed by equipment

or a chronic problem from the inhalation of fumes, hearing loss or repetitive stress injury, over time these injuries can prevent a worker from returning to their job at full capacity.

Worker’s compensation in Indiana provides coverage for its workers, regardless of whether or not the worker was at fault for their workplace injuries. It can help cover medical and rehabilitative expenses, lost wages and death benefits to dependents. But worker’s comp is only temporary and cannot help those whose injuries become a permanent disability.

The benefits of Social Security Disability (SSD)

Individuals whose injuries cause a disability may be able to apply for SSD benefits. Under the requirements of the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, the applicant must have a condition that is a mental or physical impairment preventing them from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGI). The condition must have gone on or is expected to continue for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.

Among the many categories that qualify for SSD benefits include impairments such as:

  • Repetitive stress, back or spine injuries
  • Cancer
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Heart disease, transplant or heart conditions
  • Immune system disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Mental disorders such as anxiety, depression or autism

How to qualify for SSD

An injured worker must have worked at jobs that pay into Social Security in order to qualify for benefits calculated according to a number of factors that include their income level and work history. The worker also must have had the condition for some time, and must submit substantial medical documentation with diagnosis, lab work and description of symptoms when applying.