Not all burns are the same. The sunburn you get on vacation or the redness that comes after quickly touching your finger to the side of a hot pan may hurt a lot, but these burns may also go away quickly without any lasting damage.
The same is not true of more severe burns.
Living With a Significant Burn
If you suffer a serious second- or third-degree burn, you could experience:
- Long hospital stays
- Dangerous infections
- Multiple surgeries
- Permanent or long-term damage to the deep layers of your skin, to your bones, or to internal organs
- Nerve damage
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
You may be unable to work. Instead, your days may be filled with taking care of your injuries and physical therapy. You may even require assisted care for the rest of your life.
The Social Security Administration Recognizes That You May be Permanently Disabled
You may qualify for Social Security disability with a burn injury if you can prove that you qualify for benefits pursuant to a specific listing in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments or you can prove that you are unable to work because of your injury. The Social Security Administration will consider the burn’s effect on your musculoskeletal system, on your skin, on your senses (such as touch or speech), on your respiratory system, on your cardiovascular system, on your renal system, on your neurological system and on your mental health.
If the Social Security Administration finds that your burn is a complete and permanent disability and that you have worked long enough to qualify for disability benefits, you should receive monthly Social Security disability benefits. While you won’t become wealthy off of your disability benefits, the benefits can provide you with needed funds to help you make ends meet. There are no income restrictions for eligibility and there are no restrictions on how you use the disability benefits once they are received. However, many people find that disability benefits help them pay for necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing.
For more information about your own eligibility or what steps you should take after a serious burn, please contact our board certified lawyers via this website or by phone at your earliest convenience.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.