Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Personal Injury Laws in Indiana

Below are the answers to common initial questions many clients have when they first contact Keller and Keller. We hope that the information below address many initial concerns you may have, but if  you don't find the answers here, please contact us with questions specific to your case. The consultation is free and confidential.

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  • What is a representative payee?

    Woman Using a Social Security TouchscreenIt is not unusual for a Social Security disability beneficiary to be unable to manage his or her own care and finances. When this is the case, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will appoint a representative to receive the funds and pay for the beneficiary’s needs. This role carries a great deal of responsibility and should only be undertaken by a competent individual.

    What a Representative Payee Must Do

    Only the person appointed by the SSA has the legal authority to negotiate and manage a beneficiary’s disability benefits. The duties of a representative payee include the following:

    • Assessing the current and future needs of the beneficiary and paying for them with the benefits he receives
    • Using disability benefits for the exclusive benefit of the disabled person
    • Keeping a record of expenses and providing the SSA with a report accounting for the benefits
    • Saving any unused benefits in an interest-bearing account for the beneficiary’s future use
    • Helping the disabled person get medical treatment
    • Reporting any changes in the disabled person’s situation which would affect his or her eligibility for Social Security disability benefits,
    • Returning any benefits to which the disabled person is not entitled

    Having a power of attorney or a joint bank account with the disabled person does not give a person access to a beneficiary’s disability benefits. In order to be a representative payee, you must apply to the SSA and be approved.

    Limits on a Representative Payee’s Role

    The role of the representative payee is limited to dealing with disability benefits, so he or she is not able to:

    • Sign legal documents, other than Social Security documents, for a beneficiary.
    • Access the beneficiary’s other earned income, pensions, or any income from sources other than Social Security
    • Use a beneficiary’s money for their own personal expenses
    • Spend funds in a way that would leave the beneficiary without housing, food, or medical care
    • Put a beneficiary’s Social Security funds in their own or another person’s account
    • Charge the beneficiary for services unless authorized by SSA to do so

    How Keller & Keller Can Help

    If you have been appointed as the representative payee for a disability recipient, you may need help fulfilling some of your responsibilities. As Social Security disability attorneys, we are happy to provide legal guidance. Contact us to find out how we can help you manage a disabled person’s benefits.

     

  • Who will pay if I need treatment related to car accident injuries years after the accident?

    It’s entirely possible that you could develop a debilitating medical condition related to a car accident years after the accident. This could be a physical ailment—such as arthritis or chronic back pain—or an emotional disorder, such as anxiety or PTSD. However, even if the connection to the car accident is clear, you will not be able to seek additional damages from the at-fault party. If the settlement you agreed to at the time of the crash is not sufficient to cover these new injuries, you will have to use your own insurance or pay out of pocket.

    Maximum Medical Improvement and Future Damages

    Being unable to cover future medical expenses with car accident settlement money could be the result of poor planning at the time of the accident. When you work with a personal Car Wreck on a Quiet Road in Indianainjury attorney from Keller & Keller, you can be sure we will consider the possibility of future expenses and will do all we can to get you the compensation you might need to cover future losses. Our team always considers the following when negotiating accident claims:

    • Maximum medical improvement. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it can be difficult to know what your total medical expenses will be. A forward-thinking attorney will wait to agree to a settlement until the extent of your recovery and future medical expenses are clear.
    • Future damages. Injuries that result in permanent disabilities will require lifelong medical expenses and limit your ability to earn a living. Your attorney should consider potential future costs—including medical bills and lost earning potential—when negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
    • Financial planning. If compensation from the at-fault driver is received in a lump-sum, you will need a plan to protect some of the money for future medical needs. Your attorney should be able to provide this invaluable advice.

    Working with an experienced attorney at the time of your accident will save you the worry about paying for possible future medical expenses. The car accident team at Keller & Keller knows how to determine the value of a claim and when to plan for future expenses. They also help their clients make a plan for putting money aside to pay for future costs.

    Come Back to Keller & Keller Any Time!

    Even if it has been many years since you worked with Keller & Keller to settle your car accident claim, you can always call us with questions and concerns. We stand by the work we do for our clients and are happy to hear from former clients, especially when they need help.

     

  • What would cause my disability payments to stop?

    Social Security Sign in Red MarkerDue to a chronic illness or disability that prevents you from being able to work, you were approved for SSDI benefits. Your condition is not expected to get better, so you assume that your benefits will continue for years to come. However, in order to stay on disability, you must remain eligible. Your benefits could be terminated by the Social Security Administration for several reasons.

    Your Checks May Stop If These Things Happen

    SSDI is intended to provide financial support to pre-retirement aged people who have paid into the system over their working life and are now unable to work because of a disability. These benefits will stop if:

    • You return to work. While you are allowed to engage in some amount of paid work while collecting disability, you cannot exceed a certain earning level. If you do, you will be considered ineligible for SSDI. If you are working a lot but not earning above the threshold, the SSA could determine that you are capable of substantial gainful activity (SGA) and cut off your benefits.
    • You reach retirement age. Once you reach 66 years of age, your disability benefits will stop, and you will begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits instead. You cannot collect both of these benefits at the same time.
    • You go to prison. Being incarcerated or institutionalized will also render you ineligible for SSDI benefits, as will being convicted of certain felonies even if you do not receive a prison sentence. Your benefits will be reinstated in the month after your release.

    If you are a minor collecting dependent benefits under a parent, your checks will stop once you turn 18 or get married.

    Worried About Losing Your Benefits? Call an SSDI Lawyer!

    You count on your disability payments to support yourself and your family. If you’re worried that you’ll do something to lose your benefits, contact the SSDI attorneys at Keller & Keller in Indianapolis. We can help you stop worrying and stay eligible. If you have received a letter from the SSA saying that your benefits are in jeopardy, or your checks have already stopped and you don’t know why, we can also help! Start a chat or fill out our contact form to get the answers you need.

     

  • What will I receive in damages if I sue the driver who caused my motorcycle crash?

    Motorcycle Involved in a Wreck With Three Other CarsThe answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Every accident claim is unique, but a skilled motorcycle accident attorney will be able to build a strong case for maximum compensation when it can be proved that another driver caused your crash. The value of your claim will primarily depend on the following:

    • The severity of your injuries. Your attorney will fight for enough money to compensate you fully for the cost of treating your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or amputation of a limb, that cost will be high, and your compensation should reflect that. A permanent disability resulting from the accident could mean you will need a lifetime of expensive care.
    • The value of your losses. If you are unable to return to a high-paying job because of the injuries you suffered, your wage loss compensation will be significant, but any loss of wages and future earnings should be fully compensated.
    • Your dependents. If a spouse and children are dependent upon your earnings, that could multiply the value of your claim. Also, your family may be able to make a loss-of-relationship claim in certain situations.

    An experienced attorney will know how to assess the value of your claim and will work hard to make sure you are fully compensated.

    Kinds of Damages That Can Be Recovered

    In Indiana, you are entitled to recover for the following expenses:

    • Medical bills
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Future medical expenses
    • Probable loss of wages in the future
    • Property damage
    • Loss of relationship with your spouse
    • Other out-of-pocket expenses due to your injuries

    In some cases, in which the other party's conduct was unusually heinous, you may be able to recover punitive damages.

    Our Indianapolis Attorneys Will Fight for You

    Experienced personal injury attorneys understand the losses you have suffered—and those you will continue to suffer—because of your motorcycle crash. Our motorcycle crash team will not settle a claim until you are offered everything you will need to return to as normal a life as possible after a serious crash. You have nothing to lose by meeting with us for a free consultation. We will take a look at your case and let you know what we can do for you. If you decide to hire us, you won’t owe a fee until we successfully resolve your case. Fill out our contact form or call today to get started.

     

  • What evidence is needed to prove fault in an Indiana motorcycle crash?

    Motorcycle and SUV Wreckage After a CollisionYou enjoy the days when the weather allows you to ride your motorcycle in Indiana, whether it’s to work or just for fun. However, you are always aware that you are at the mercy of other drivers. If your luck runs out one day and you are hit or run off the road by a careless driver, you need to be prepared to protect your claim for compensation. If you are physically able, we recommend that you do your best to gather some evidence of the other driver’s fault at the scene of the crash.

    Important Evidence to Collect at the Scene of an Indianapolis Motorcycle Crash

    Unfortunately, motorcycle accident victims are often unable to take steps to protect their recovery at the scene because of the seriousness of their injuries. However, if you are conscious and able to move around, your claim against the negligent driver will be strengthened by the following types of evidence:

    • Pictures. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the scene before anything is moved. You will want pictures of your bike from a variety of angles to show the damage and shots of any other vehicles involved in the crash. You should also take pictures of the entire scene from a distance and document your own injuries with photos.
    • Witness statements. Get statements from any and all witnesses that will collaborate the date, time of day, road conditions, actions of the other driver, and other details of the crash. You should also write down your own observations about weather conditions, type of road, speed of travel, and so on.
    • Medical records. It is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. Not only will you get the medical treatment you need, but your visit will also establish the nature and extent of your injuries, which can be presented as part of your injury claim later on.

    You can be sure that the defendants’ attorneys will try to establish that some other factor contributed to the accident, so you must be prepared to refute that.

    How the Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Keller & Keller Will Help

    Along with the evidence you have gathered, a prompt investigation is essential. This is because the insurance company will always attempt to prove that the motorcyclist was to some extent at fault to diminish the value of the motorcyclist’s claim.

    The law offices of Keller and Keller will make use of extensive resources and ensure that no evidence is lost or tampered with in regard to your injury claim. It is important that evidence not be lost in motorcycle accident claims, as it is imperative that we present this evidence to the insurance company. Fill out the contact form on this page to learn more about motorcycle accident claims in Indiana.

     

  • Who is liable in my Indiana motorcycle crash?

    Serious Motorcycle Wreck Involving a Motorcycle and CarWhile it’s true that motorcycle riders are at a greater risk of serious injury and death than drivers and passengers in cars and trucks, that doesn’t mean they aren’t owed the same duty of care by the people they share the road with. Unfortunately, drivers are often either unaware of bikers near them or are openly hostile towards them. When a driver’s actions cause the crash that injures a motorcyclist, he or she may be held liable and made to pay for the damages they have caused.

    Driver Actions That Cause Motorcycle Crashes

    Because of the lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle, riders are among the most vulnerable motorists on the road. This doesn’t mean they deserve special treatment, but they do deserve the same space and respect that drivers give one another. When drivers do the following, they can contribute to a potentially fatal motorcycle crash:

    • Fail to yield. One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is being cut off by a car whose driver either doesn’t see the bike or simply refuses to yield. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars, so drivers must check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto the highway to look for motorcycles.
    • Follow too closely. If anything, motorcycles require an even greater following distance than cars because they are designed to stop very quickly. If a much larger car or pickup truck rear-ends a motorcycle, the results could be deadly.
    • Engage in distracted driving. Glancing down at a cell phone or GPS screen for even a second can mean a driver could miss a motorcycle that is turning, changing lanes, or merging onto the road in the car’s vicinity.
    • Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An impaired driver is less observant and has slower reaction times, putting any motorcyclists near them at particular risk. Speeding and erratic driving is also a threat to motorcyclists as they are harder to see.

    When a driver’s actions cause a motorcycle crash, he or she can be held liable for the injured rider’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

    Other Potentially Liable Parties

    In some motorcycle crashes, no cars are involved at all. In these cases, if a motorcycle rider causes a crash that injures his passenger, he could be held liable for the passenger’s damages. If potholes, debris, road surface, construction zones, or other dangers cause a motorcyclist to crash, the municipality responsible for the road could be held liable.

    Discuss Your Motorcycle Crash With Keller & Keller

    If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an Indiana motorcycle crash, talk to the attorneys at Keller & Keller in Indianapolis. We protect the rights of motorcycle riders in Indiana.

     

  • How do I know when to take the keys away from my aging parent?

    Elderly Driver on a Curvy New Mexico RoadYour elderly parent values his or her independence, and driving is a big part of that. Losing driving privileges is a difficult transition, but when an elderly person is no longer capable of safe driving, you are doing them—and others on the road—a big favor by taking away the keys. At Keller & Keller, we have represented victims of tragic car crashes caused by elderly drivers, and we want to do what we can to prevent these unnecessary accidents. Learn to recognize some of the signs that an elderly person’s driving days are over.

    When a Senior Should Stop Driving

    If you are not a part of your elderly parent’s daily life, you may not know there is a problem with their driving until they’ve been involved in an accident. They probably won’t volunteer the information, so you should inspect their car for dents and scrapes and be tuned into tickets they may have been issued or mentions of court appearances. If you are able to observe their driving, you should be on the lookout for the following signs that they are no longer able to drive safely:

    • Becoming lost in familiar areas
    • Driving at an inconsistent speed
    • Forgetting to use a turn signal
    • Fear and hesitation when merging and changing lanes
    • Not stopping or yielding at signs or traffic lights
    • Failure to acknowledge the right of way
    • Not keeping track of speed limits
    • Feelings of rage, anxiety, and stress towards routine driving tasks

    Losing the ability to drive is hard on the person who has lost his freedom, but it is also hard on his family members, who must now assist with transportation. This is why many people put off this difficult conversation for as long as possible, risking an accident that could leave your loved one injured—or responsible for someone’s death.

    Be Sensitive but Firm

    When it’s time to have this talk with your elderly parent, experts advise that you are empathetic, but don’t give in when you know it’s just not safe for them to drive anymore. Let them know that you are worried about them and ask open-ended questions about their driving experiences, such as:

    • How do you feel when you drive?
    • What challenges have you faced when driving alone?
    • How do you feel when you get lost on the way to a familiar place?
    • Have you noticed other drivers honking or getting angry at you?
    • What changes have you noticed in your ability to do tasks that used to be much easier?

    When you start a conversation and ask for your loved one’s input, you may be able to help them come to the conclusion that their driving days are over on their own.

    Keller & Keller Is Committed to Driver Safety

    The car accident attorneys at Keller & Keller in Albuquerque represent injured victims of vehicle crashes. We take on the at-fault driver and his insurance company to make sure our client is compensated for his losses. We don’t want your mom or dad to be our next target. We urge you to protect the safety of everyone involved by taking this difficult step when it’s time.

     

  • What are some of the most common motorcycle crash injuries in New Mexico?

    Motorcyclist on a Quiet Albuquerque RoadThe bright sun and clear blue skies of New Mexico tempt bikers of all ages and abilities out onto the long, straight roadways. Whatever brings you out on your motorcycle in the Albuquerque area, you should be able to ride without worrying about another driver causing a crash that leaves you seriously injured. Unfortunately, injury crashes are all too common for bikers in New Mexico. Here, we discuss the kinds of injuries riders often sustain and how to get the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver.

    Motorcyclists Are Vulnerable

    You may feel powerful and free when you are riding your motorcycle, but the lack of protection around you—even if you are wearing a helmet and safety gear—makes you very vulnerable to serious injury if you crash. Distracted, impaired, and just plain lousy drivers can make your life as a biker very difficult. When a car cuts you off, clips you, or runs you off the road, you may sustain one or more of the following injuries:

    • Broken bones. When a biker hits the pavement, the impact can break any number of bones. A serious compound fracture or a broken pelvis or vertebra could result in permanent disability.
    • Spinal cord injury. When the spinal cord is damaged in a motorcycle crash, the rider could be left partially or completely paralyzed.
    • Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even when wearing a helmet, a biker can suffer brain damage when the impact of the crash rattles his brain in his skull. Loss of cognitive ability and motor control are possible outcomes of a motorcycle crash TBI.
    • Road rash. While it may not sound serious, when bare skin hits pavement, the rider can lose layers of flesh, requiring skin grafts and risking deadly infections.
    • Internal injuries. The rider may look fine on the outside but may have suffered organ damage or other internal injuries from the impact of the collision. He or she will need immediate medical treatment to diagnose these serious injuries.

    Any of these injuries may be catastrophic enough to require extensive medical treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing care for many years. This kind of treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, whether you have private insurance or not, you should not have to pay when someone else caused the accident.

    Our Attorneys Will Fight for the Motorcycle Accident Recovery You Deserve

    The motorcycle attorneys at Keller & Keller get bikers because we are bikers. We support your right to be on the road and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve when a careless driver causes your crash. Contact our Albuquerque office as soon as possible after your injury. We are here for you when you need us most.

     

  • Can I get Social Security disability for arthritis?

    Doctor Meeting With a Patient for Musculoskeletal System DisorderIf you have arthritis that prevents you from being able to work, you may be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In fact, musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders are the most common disabling conditions supported by SSDI. We take a look at some of these conditions.

    Musculoskeletal System Disorders Eligible for SSDI

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a listing of conditions that can qualify the sufferer for disability benefits. The first entry in the Listing of Impairments, also referred to as the Blue Book, is Musculoskeletal System Disorders. The musculoskeletal system is made up of your bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue. We place stress on the components of the musculoskeletal system daily, particularly if our work is physically demanding. This likely explains why more SSDI claims fall into these diagnoses than any other category:

    • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in joints to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the lining of joints. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, which can become debilitating. Many people live with arthritis and can manage the symptoms. However, when a person’s osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis limits their ability to work, they may be eligible for SSDI.
    • Back pain. While you may suffer from general upper or lower back pain, you will need a diagnosis of an approved condition such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, or another spinal disorder. If the condition prevents you from being able to function normally and is expected to last for at least a year, you may qualify for benefits.
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Often caused by repetitive use, carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which nerves in the wrist become compressed. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and pain in the wrist, fingers, and thumb. When it becomes difficult to grip objects, and the pain extends to the elbow, it may interfere with the ability to work.
    • Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is characterized by widespread, chronic pain in the joints, tendons, muscles, and soft tissue. Many sufferers are unable to find a treatment to ease the pain and are unable to perform any type of gainful work.

    Injuries and disorders involving soft and connective tissue can be hard to provide medical evidence for. These claims are often denied because the applicant isn’t able to adequately document the disorder. With the help of our experienced SSDI attorneys, however, you can build a strong case to convince the SSA of the severity of your disorder. Contact our Indianapolis office today to learn more.

     

  • How can I protect myself as a motorcycle rider this summer?

    Motorcycle on an Indiana Road During the Summer MonthsIt’s finally time to roll the machine out of the garage and tune it up for summer riding. You’re looking forward to the freedom and thrill of riding your motorcycle in beautiful Indiana summer weather but are also, as always, worried that this year will be the year you become a highway statistic. Bikers are always at higher risk of serious injury or death than other motorists, but you can take some steps to improve the odds that you’ll make it through to fall unscathed.

    First—Take the Time to Tune Your Ride

    After sitting in the garage all winter, your bike is sure to need a few touch-ups to get it road ready. It’s important that you check the bike out completely before riding it to make sure everything works as it should. At the very least, do the following:

    • Top off fluids. Now is a good time to change the oil and oil filter and replace the fuel filter. You’ll also want to bleed the brakes, add brake fluid, and inspect the brake lines and pads.
    • Check the battery. Your bike’s battery could have been drained by exposure to cold over the winter. You will likely need to charge the battery and may need to replace it if you see white powder, or if it won’t hold the charge.
    • Get new spark plugs. Look for wear and tear on the spark plugs and replace any that are worn or damaged.
    • Adjust the chain. If the chain has loosened over the winter months, it’s time to adjust it and lube it.
    • Inspect tires for wear. Worn and cracked tires are dangerous. Check the air pressure and take a close look at your tires. If there are flat spots or cracks, it’s probably time to replace them.

    Once your bike passes your inspection, you’re ready to hit the road, but don’t forget the importance of defensive riding.

    Defensive Riding Reminders

    As an experienced rider, you already know that your safety is often up to you. Being aware of the dangers around you and knowing that drivers have little regard for your presence, it’s important that you:

    • Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright clothing, but also by positioning yourself in the lane so that other cars can see you.
    • Most accidents occur at intersections, so approach junctions with extreme caution.
    • Overtaking slower vehicles is risky, particularly around blind curves, so always pass carefully.
    • Yes, your bike can go fast, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe to speed. Keep your speed in check in residential, downtown, and congested areas.

    Being cautious doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable ride, but it could mean your chances of returning in one piece are greatly improved.

    Call an Indiana Motorcycle Attorney If You Are Injured

    If despite your commitment to being a safe rider, the driver of a car or truck causes a crash that leaves you seriously injured, you need an attorney who is sympathetic to motorcycle riders. Keller & Keller has represented bikers in accident claims for years. You can trust us to fight for the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.

     

  • Do I need an attorney for my New Mexico car accident claim?

    Fender-Bender Wreck Involving Two CarsThe hours and days after a car crash can be stressful and confusing. In the midst of the chaos, you may be contacted by lawyers trying to convince you that you need their help. Do you? It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Before you hire an attorney in New Mexico, you should make sure that he will be earning the share of your settlement he will get at the conclusion of the case. Some claims can be easily handled by those involved while others will benefit from a strong advocate. We take a look at the difference here.

    When You Probably Don’t Need a Lawyer

    Thankfully, most car accidents in the Albuquerque area are minor. If you were involved in a fender bender and were not injured, there is no need to hire a lawyer to represent you. If the other driver was found to be at fault and you suffered minor injuries that do not require you to miss work, you will most likely be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to cover your costs. A lawyer can do this for you, but you will give up some of your settlement unnecessarily.

    Hiring a Lawyer Makes Sense in These Situations

    When financial losses from a crash are high, it is a good idea to at least consult with a lawyer about the case. Personal injury lawyers almost always offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with a lawyer to discuss your specific situation. Times when you will want to do this include the following:

    • You were seriously injured. If you or a passenger suffer catastrophic injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, broken bones, burns, or a disfiguring injury, an attorney will fight to get you the compensation you will need to recover as fully as possible.
    • There is a dispute over who is at fault. Under New Mexico’s comparative fault laws, the amount of compensation you get from the other driver will be reduced if you are found to be even partially to blame for the crash. If you did not contribute to the cause of the crash, an attorney could offer evidence on your behalf.
    • The insurance company offers less than you need. If your claim for compensation is denied or the insurance company makes a low-ball offer, you may need an attorney to negotiate on your behalf—or file a lawsuit if necessary.
    • A commercial vehicle was involved. If a semi-truck driver caused your accident, you would definitely want an experienced truck accident attorney on your side to take on their team of lawyers. These cases can be worth millions of dollars.
    • Someone was killed in the crash. If a passenger in your car was killed, the stakes become too high for you to try to settle the case on your own. An attorney can evaluate the possibility of a wrongful death suit.

    A reputable law firm will not force you into hiring them. If there is nothing they can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, they should let you know up front.

    Keller & Keller Are Here to Help in Albuquerque

    When you meet with Keller & Keller in your free initial consultation, we will be honest about what we can do to help you. If it is a straightforward case that you can handle on your own, we’ll tell you how. If we know you will get more out of the claim by working with us, we’ll explain what we’ll do for you. Call to schedule your free initial consultation with us today.

     

  • Does my back pain have to be caused by physical impairment to qualify for SSDI?

    Company Employee With Serious Back PainWorldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability and is one of the most common reasons for missed work, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain can be agonizing and incapacitating, but unless there is a medically determinable impairment, you will not be likely to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Getting the right diagnosis for your back pain is the key to qualifying for the benefits you need.

    Causes of Debilitating Back Pain

    Chronic back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, some of which are temporary, such as muscle strains and minor fractures. In order to qualify for SSDI, your condition must be caused by an impairment that is expected to last for at least a year. The condition must also involve a physical abnormality of the spine or spinal column that is documented by an x-ray, MRI, doctor’s notes, or another acceptable medical test. Some back conditions that may qualify for SSDI include the following:

    • Degenerative disc disorder
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Spondylitis
    • Spinal stenosis
    • Herniated disc
    • Nerve root compression

    Even if you are diagnosed with one of these conditions, you will not automatically qualify for disability benefits. You will have to provide medical records proving that your symptoms match the requirements in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing of impairments for spinal disorders and you will have to demonstrate that your condition prevents you from performing tasks required by your job.

    How Keller & Keller Helps People With Debilitating Back Pain

    The SSA sees more applications citing back pain than any other condition, so it is vital that you work with an experienced disability attorney to present the most complete application possible. The attorneys in our Indianapolis and Granger offices will make sure that your back pain has been properly diagnosed, that you have the required medical documentation, and that you have proof that your functional limitations prevent you from working. If you are suffering from back pain and are unable to work, contact us for a free case evaluation. If we can help you, we will.

     

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