Although it is most often associated with car collisions, whiplash can be caused by any sudden jerking motion of the head and neck. Whiplash is essentially a sprain in the neck. The symptoms of whiplash can include:
The symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to person, but commonly include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- Shoulder and upper back pain
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Difficulty sleeping
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Irritability or depression.
It is important to seek medical attention if you have symptoms of whiplash, as they can worsen over time without proper treatment.
That's correct. The severity of the symptoms and the duration of the recovery period can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the injury. While some people may experience only mild symptoms that resolve within a few weeks, others may experience more severe and persistent symptoms that can last for several months or even years. In some cases, whiplash can result in chronic pain and disability, making it difficult or impossible for the individual to work or perform daily activities. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a whiplash injury to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Apply for SSDI with Whiplash
To apply for Social Security disability benefits with whiplash, you will need to follow the same steps as any other disability claimant. Here are the general steps:
- Check your eligibility: Before applying for disability benefits, make sure that you meet the basic eligibility requirements. This includes having a work history that qualifies for SSDI, or having limited income and resources that qualify for SSI. You also need to have a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability, which means that your condition must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months.
- Gather medical evidence: You will need to provide medical evidence that shows the severity of your whiplash symptoms and how they limit your ability to work. This can include medical records, imaging studies, and other documentation that show the extent of your injuries and the treatments you have received.
- Fill out the application: You can apply for disability benefits online at the SSA's website, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office. You will need to provide personal information, work history, and medical information on your application.
- Wait for a decision: After you submit your application, the SSA will review your claim and make a decision. This process can take several months, so be prepared to wait. If your claim is approved, you will start receiving benefits. If it is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
- Consider getting help: Applying for disability benefits can be a complex and lengthy process. Consider getting help from a disability lawyer or advocate to guide you through the process and improve your chances of getting approved.
Additionally, it is important to provide as much medical documentation as possible to support your claim. This may include:
Doctor's notes and treatment records Medical imaging results (X-rays, MRIs, etc.) Physical therapy records Prescription medication records Any other medical evidence that shows the extent of your whiplash symptoms and how they impact your ability to work.
It can also be helpful to provide documentation of any attempts you have made to return to work, including any unsuccessful job applications or attempts at job training. This can demonstrate to the SSA that you have made a good faith effort to return to work, but are unable to do so due to the severity of your condition.
The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be lengthy and complicated, and it is often helpful to work with an experienced disability attorney who can help you navigate the process and advocate for your rights.
Hire a Disability Professional
If your whiplash disability claim has been denied, it is important to appeal the decision as soon as possible. A disability lawyer can help you with the appeal process, which involves several stages, including a request for reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and further appeals if necessary.
During the appeal process, your lawyer can help you gather additional medical evidence and present it in the most compelling way possible. They can also prepare you for the hearing, including helping you to understand what to expect and how to answer questions effectively.
In many cases, having a disability lawyer on your side can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful appeal. So, if you have been denied Social Security disability benefits based on your whiplash condition, it may be in your best interest to seek the help of an experienced attorney at The Law Office of Irene Ruzin.