Suffering a serious injury is anything but easy. Not only is the individual dealing with the event that caused the injury, he or she is now attempting to recover from the injury. For some severe injuries, taking time off to heal or seeking medical treatment is not enough. When an injury is debilitating, whether temporarily or permanently, this not only means extensive medical care but also being unable to work for this timeframe.
When an individual suffers a debilitating injury, he or she may seek Social Security disability benefits to offset the financial setbacks caused by the injury. However, the 1956 legislation that outlines the Social Security Disability Insurance program specifies certain conditions when an individual applies for these benefits. This means some applicants being referred to their state vocational rehabilitation program before disability can be determined.
The idea behind that step was to have as many beneficiaries of SSDI to become rehabilitated to productive employment. Unfortunately, this program has shown little success. Nonetheless, the Trump administration seeks to better the SSDI program by boosting the likelihood that disabled Americans receiving these benefits will reenter the labor force. They seek to make changes based on data and evidence collected in projects such as coordinated health care, job services and early intervention from state vocational rehabilitation programs.
According to current data, roughly three in every 1,000 disabled Americans were able to end their SSD benefit program following services from state vocational rehabilitation services. What was found was that many were not returning to the workforce, not because their disabilities could not be rehabilitated, but rather they did not participate in these programs because they feared they would lose these benefits.
Whether you are seeking SSD benefits for a temporary or permanent disability due to an injury, it is important to note that rehabilitation may be a requirement. This does not mean that benefits will be denied or terminated, but it does mean it is important to understand the process and what rights you have.