Adjusting to life after a significant injury can be overwhelming. Medical appointments, physical therapy, and adjusting to limited mobility all cause distress. In addition, the financial stress of not working can create result in relationship issues, as well as depression and anxiety. As if all that were not enough, your doctor has now told you your injuries are permanent–you can no longer work.

That’s a lot pressure. You may find you need counseling to adapt to your new life. Know that there is no shame in asking for help–you’ve been through a great deal. Therapy can help you emotionally, but what can help you financially? There are two federal options. Today we will focus on SSDI.

Applying for Disability: SSDI

If you have been told that your injuries are permanent, or that you will be unable to work for more than a year, consider applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI.) Qualification is based on earnings during your lifetime, and is different based on the age you are when you become disabled.

Applying can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Especially after all that you have been through. Some of the qualification rules can seem complicated since they are based on specific federal laws. But the good news is that a qualified attorney can help sort through the legalese. You don’t have to go through the process alone.

Feeling ashamed

Many people feel uncomfortable when they apply for disability. They have a good work ethic and feel they should be the ones taking care of their family. Couple that with anger over the collision and it can feel very humiliating to know that you now have to rely on government help. But the fact is: you have paid premiums to the Social Security Administration for this insurance.

Beginning with your first paycheck and each subsequent one, a portion of your earnings were paid for old age, survivor and disability insurance (OASDI) to cover you for the exact situation you currently find yourself in. Since you have paid premiums for this insurance, there is no reason you should not use it when necessary.

Being hurt and becoming disabled is not an easy life-change. But there are programs in place to help you make the transition. Check with a social security disability attorney to determine whether you qualify and get the financial help you deserve.