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Social Security Disability Benefits After Michigan Motorcycle Accident

If you suffer injuries in a Michigan motorcycle accident, you be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. A motorcyclist who has been rendered disable from working due to the motor vehicle accident, may apply for these benefits while out of work.

In general, in order to be considered “disabled” for purposes of receiving SSD benefits, one must be unable to perform the type of work he/she did prior to the accident; he/she must be unable to adjust to other work due to his/her medical condition, and; the disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. Admittedly, this is a strict definition of disability. However, many motorcyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles tend to sustain very serious and disabling injuries.

An approved applicant for SSD benefits is assured a monthly benefit check so long as they remain disabled going forward. Insurance companies offer no similar assurances to injured motorcyclists with respect to obtaining their wage loss benefits under the Michigan No Fault Act (as evidenced by the stack of lawsuits against insurance companies I am currently working on!) For this reason, it makes more sense then ever for a motorcyclist who is disabled in a motor vehicle accident to apply for SSD benefits in addition to applying for No Fault benefits following their accident.

If the disabled motorcyclist is successful in obtaining SSD benefits and wage loss benefits from an auto insurer under the No Fault Act, the auto insurer is entitled to reimbursement out of the SSD award for wage loss it has paid over the same time frame. However, the motorcyclist is still in an optimum position because the no-fault wage loss benefits are only payable for 3 years after the accident. If disabled beyond the first three years, he/she will still be eligible to collect SSD benefits into the future so long as he/she remains disabled. Also, if the monthly SSD benefits are greater than the monthly no-fault wage loss benefits, the motorcyclist retains the excess SSD benefit. This offers the motorcyclist additional protection if he/she is being “short changed” by the auto insurer regarding their wage loss benefits.

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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