Many times, workers’ compensation and social security disability go hand in hand considering the nature of what they are meant to do. Both benefits are meant to help individuals who are seriously injured or sick and are unable to work because of their injuries or illnesses.
However, can someone get social security disability benefits along with worker’s compensation? We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, and here is what she had to say:
Does the Injured Person Qualify for Both?
The first question is does the person qualify for both benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Workers’ Compensation are two different programs run by two different entities.
SSDI is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and workers’ compensation programs are run by the state, unless the employee is a federal employee, in which case the federal workers’ compensation agency would govern the benefits.
If the person qualifies for both, they can receive both benefits. However, the purpose of them are different and they are governed differently, as well.
Workers’ compensation is insurance offered by the employer to cover injuries sustained by an employee while on-the job. Each state has its own workers’ compensation programs with different requirements and deadlines.
For the most part, workers’ compensation programs are intended to be temporary, only for the length of time needed to get employees back to appoint where they can get back to their previous job or to be approved for SSDI benefits.
Qualifying for workers’ compensation will not mean that the individual will be disqualified for SSDI. Not being qualified for workers’ compensation also does not mean that the injured person will not end up qualifying for SSDI either.
To qualify for workers’ compensation, the employee must normally fight into one of four categories: total temporary disability, total permanent disability, partial temporary disability or partial permanent disability.
The amount of compensation for lost wages due to the inability to work will be based off of this category and will be a percentage designated by the state multiplied what the injured person’s pay was at the time of the injury.
Workers’ Compensation’s Effect on SSDI
Workers’ compensation does have an effect on SSDI. The total income the injured person receives from workers’ compensation and SSDI cannot end up being more than 80 percent off of the person’s previous income.
If it is, the SSA will deduct the amount of money from the SSDI entitlement to get the total award under this 80 percent. Once the workers’ compensation runs out while the individual is also collecting SSDI, the worker will need to then contact SSA and the SSDI benefits will then be adjusted.
This adjustment is only needed for publicly-funded and not private distributions or pension benefits.
SSDI Disability Requirements
SSDI requirements for qualifying for disability is different than the requirements for workers’ compensation. For workers’ compensation, a person is considered disabled if he or she is no longer able of performing the job the employee was performing at the time of injury.
However, with the SSA, to qualify for SSDI, the person must be considered totally disabled. To be totally disabled, the injured person must demonstrate that he or she is unable to perform any work for which that person has performed for any employer, not just the work performed at the time he or she was injured.
This means if the person can be performed in any field for which that person can be reasonable trained. Also, the condition that caused the person to be disabled must either be expected to last over a year or to result in that person’s death.
Applying for One or the Other
Certain advantages can exist to applying for one program over the other or to apply for them at the same time. An attorney experienced in both workers’ compensation or SSDI claims can meet with the client to discuss the pros and cons associated with the two different options.
It is advisable that an attorney be consulted before doing applying for either benefit program.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation and have questions about whether you qualify for social security benefits, as well, a workers’ compensation attorney can help review your case and discuss your options.
An attorney can listen to the facts of the case and can best advise you on how to proceed. Contact an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law to schedule a consultation today.