Normally, Social Security is not reduced. SSI or welfare disability can be reduced if she has another source of income. You need to state why her benefits were reduced in order for this forum to help you.
If you have never had earned income in the USA, then you are not eligible for Social Security which is based on the earnings you made while employed in the USA. You can check to see if you are eligible for SSI (Welfare Disability) which is a program not based on your earnings as a worker in the USA.
You indicate you are on long term disability (LTD) benefits. However, you want to come back to work. You should be careful about this. Your wish to return to work is praiseworthy; however, a return to work may terminate your LTD benefits. You did not indicate if you were also on Social Security Disability. If so, you can do a Trial Work Period if you are on Social Security without jeopardizing those benefits. Social Security will disregard income due to a return to work for 9 months. But again,...
In Virginia at the beginning of your claim you have a right to demand a panel of three doctors to choose from. If you don't exercise that right within 30 days and go to a doctor you are sent to then generally you lose the panel right. Check with an experienced WC lawyer to be sure.
When you file a Virginia Workers Compensation claim, your medical history is an open book. The privacy law is waived. The insurer has the right to check to see if your injury is valid or is a pre-existing condition. Depending upon your type of injury, the insurer will decide how big a search it will make.
Yes, you can apply for unemployment. This is the current Virginia Rule:
Your benefits may be reduced by the weekly amount of any pension, retirement pay, annuity, Worker's Compensation, or other similar periodic payment that you receive from your most recent employer of 30 days or 240 hours or more, or from any employer in the base period of your claim. You will be asked to provide the amount and source of any of these payments when you file your claim. Failure to report changes in your...
You do have to be careful. In 2014 you cannot earn more than $1,070.00 per month. If you do it is considered substantial gainful activity (SGA) and automatically disqualifies you from Social Security Disability.
I have practiced Virginia WC law for 35 years. The quickest way to lose your compensation is non-cooperation with vocational placement. You should do all the is required. You never know if a prospective employer wiil/will not make accommodations for your partial disability. You can contact the Virginia Department of Rehabilitation and get their recommendation and evaluation for a new career. You can contact your local community college and get their evaluation. If new training is recommended,...
Whether she can file a claim depends upon your legal status. If she is an undocumented alien, she may not be able to file. If you have income it may disqualify her to file for SSI. If she has not worked, she cannot file under her own number. You need to provide more information.