In 2013, more than 185,000 family violence incidents were reported in Texas. Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) estimates that one in three women in the greater Houston area will experience domestic abuse. Some domestic violence victims will recover from their injuries with the help of doctors, counselors, and support groups and some will, unfortunately, die. Others, however, will be left between these two extremes.
These Victims Will Be Permanently Disabled
Domestic violence victims who are left permanently disabled by the abuse they suffered may be eligible for Social Security disability. Women, or men, who have been abused by their partners or others in their household may be eligible for Social Security disability if:
- They have paid enough into the Social Security system.
- They are left with a permanent disability that will last for 12 months or more or result in death.
- They cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (or earn more than the maximum monthly amount established by the Social Security Administration) because of their disability.
A domestic violence victim who is afraid to file under her current Social Security number may be able to apply for a different Social Security number to prevent the person who abused her from tracking her down.
Help Those Who Have Been Hurt
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We, as a community, continue to try to prevent these terrible crimes. Let’s also support those who have already been hurt. Let’s raise awareness about help that may be available. To that end, we encourage you to share this blog post on social media or directly with anyone you know who may have been seriously hurt and permanently disabled by their partner.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.