Our attorneys have seen accident victims lose important legal rights when their Social Security Disability claims are rejected. Claims are rejected primarily because most medical examinations from Social Security doctors find that a person does not qualify for SSD. This result is due, in part, because the Social Security Administration uses a qualifying definition of “disability” that is higher and more difficult than in Michigan.
Additionally, doctors who perform SSD evaluations tend to be rather conservative. These doctors are evaluating people in regards to the more stringent requirements of long-term disability, and they usually write medical evaluation reports that minimize the personal injury and likelihood of long-term disability.
The insurance doctors’ reports can be used by auto insurance companies to deny No-Fault benefits. The auto insurance company thus manages to transplant the SSD definition of long-term disability into a Michigan claim, where wage loss is supposed to be provided to people who are currently disabled.
Insurance companies win in another way, too. Every accident victim that is forced by his insurance adjuster to apply for SSD subsequently allows the auto insurance company to reduce its claim reserves. A claim reserve is the money that is kept in conservative investments to pay out to settle claims or lawsuits, such as to people injured in a car accident. For an insurance company, lower reserves = higher profits.
In Michigan, auto insurance companies often tell injured policyholders to keep applying and appealing Social Security’s rejections again and again, until some are finally accepted. Then the insurers can shift the responsibility of paying benefits to the federal government. Read here for attorney advice on what to do in this situation.
Keep in mind that if your no-fault insurer requests that you apply for Social Security, you do have a duty to cooperate, but your duty has important limits. Contact a Michigan Auto Law attorney at (800) 777-0028 as soon as an insurance adjuster instructs you to apply. Or fill out our consultation form with no fee or obligation.
We can help you avoid costly mistakes that could wipe out your entire auto accident case, and connect you with an expert SSD attorney.