Social Security Personal Injury Question- Thomas P. Cummings, Esq.

Date: September 14, 2012
Posted In: DLP Law

Keith and Mary were injured in an automobile accident. As a result of his injuries, Keith was awarded Social Security Disability benefits (SSDIB).  Keith had enjoyed a long work history before his accident and had paid sufficient amounts in to the Social Security system to qaulify for SSDIB benefits. Mary had not worked in over 10 years before the accident. As a result, Mary had not paid sufficient amounts in to the Social Security system so she didn’t qualify for SSDIB. However, Mary’s disabling condition allowed her to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from Social Security.

Keith and Mary both filed civil suits against the negligent driver who caused the motor vehicle accident. Through their attorneys, they both were in the process of negotiating settlements of their civil claims.

Question: Will monetary awards received in the civil suits affect Keith’s receipt of SSDIB benefits and Mary’s SSI benefits?

Answer: Keith’s SSDIB benefits will not be affected by a monetary award or monetary settlement in his civil case.

On the other hand, Mary’s receipt of payment on the personal injury civil lawsuit will either reduce the amount of monthly SSI benefits she receives or may even render her ineligible for monthly SSI benefits. The reason behind this is that the standard for SSI considers both disability and any income or assets one has. 

If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of someone’s negligence, a work injury, or would like to pursue a claim for Social Security benefits contact me at or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.



Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 



Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.