Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may find yourself unable to return to work for an extended period following an auto collision. In such cases, however, you may qualify for assistance through the Social Security Administration permanently or until you can go back to work.

To understand whether you may receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for injuries resulting from crashes, it behooves you to understand the SSA’s eligibility requirements.

Meeting a disability listing

According to Social Security, your car accident injuries must meet the administration’s definition of disability. To qualify, you must have a condition registered in the list of disabling conditions. Further, your injuries must substantially impair your ability to perform basic work tasks such as recalling information, walking, standing and sitting. Only those conditions considered to cause permanent disability qualify. Therefore, you may only receive benefits if your injuries have or will last for at least one year or will eventually result in death.

If your injuries do not meet a disabling condition listing, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits. The SSA will review your case to determine if your injuries prevent you from performing work-related activities.

Having a qualifying work history

In addition to meeting the disabling condition requirements, you must also have a qualifying work history. To receive SSDI benefits, you must have worked recently enough and for long enough to accumulate the necessary number of work credits. The number of work credits you must have to get disability assistance from Social Security depends on your age at the time of the accident that caused your disabling condition.