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Disability Benefits After a Car Accident [What You Need to Know]

After a car accident, the road to recovery can be long and arduous. In addition to physical and emotional challenges, many people face financial uncertainties and wonder if they are eligible for disability after a car accident.

As an experienced car accident attorney who specializes in serving the diverse needs of Californians, we are here to provide clarity on this important issue.

Understanding Eligibility for Disability Benefits

The first question that often arises is, “Can I get disability benefits after a car accident?” While the answer is not a simple yes or no, it is crucial to understand the criteria established by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Social Security Disability (SSD), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are designed to help people with long-term disabilities. Therefore, eligibility depends on meeting specific requirements outlined by the SSA.

a man with temporary disability after a car accident

Qualifying conditions for disability benefits

To qualify for disability benefits, people must demonstrate that they have a serious disability that is expected to last at least 12 months, which prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Additionally, applicants must demonstrate their inability to perform previous job duties or undergo retraining for less demanding roles.

Specific conditions and eligibility

When it comes to car accident-related injuries, certain conditions may qualify people for disability benefits:

  • Fractured or broken bones: Severe fractures or breaks in the extremities may qualify if they hinder mobility and impede work performance.
  • Limb Amputation: Permanent loss of a limb may warrant disability benefits, although reintegration with a prosthesis may affect eligibility.
  • Severe burns: Extensive burns that cause long-term disabilities can make people eligible for benefits.
  • Spinal Cord/Back Injuries: Debilitating spinal injuries, despite treatment, may warrant disability benefits.
  • Severe Whiplash: While it generally does not qualify, severe whiplash accompanied by injuries to the neck or spine may be considered.
  • Joint Injuries: Detrimental joint injuries may qualify if they significantly limit mobility and work ability.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Severe TBIs that cause cognitive impairment often qualify for benefits.
  • Other Impairments: Various neurological, sensory, and speech impairments described by the SSA may also qualify.

Exploring Temporary Disability After a Car Accident

For people seeking short-term financial relief, temporary disability after a car accident benefits may be available. Short-term disability programs in California offer cash benefits to accident victims, providing crucial support during the recovery process.

Understanding Social Security Disability Rules for Cars

While Social Security disability benefits primarily focus on people with long-term disabilities, it is essential to understand the rules regarding disabilities related to car accidents. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help clarify how SSD rules apply to car accident cases, ensuring that people receive the benefits they deserve.

Consulting with a Car Accident Lawyer

It is essential to note that eligibility for SSD benefits requires substantial medical evidence. Consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can provide invaluable guidance on how to navigate the application process and ensure eligibility requirements are met.


Navigating the complexities of disability benefits after a car accident can be daunting. However, with the experience of a knowledgeable attorney and a thorough understanding of the eligibility criteria, individuals can obtain the financial support they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to seek legal advice to explore your disability benefits options.

If you are wondering, can you get a short-term disability after an accident? Our attorneys can provide the necessary guidance.

Our team of dedicated car accident attorneys will guide you through the process to ensure you receive the support you need. Call us at (800) 291-9000 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your specific case.

Attorney Jennifer Mahgerefteh - Tofer & Associates


Jennifer Mahgerefteh, the Managing Partner at Tofer Law, brings a wealth of experience as a managing attorney, specializing in representing plaintiffs in various personal injury cases. For inquiries regarding this article or legal assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.


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