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Workers’ Compensation vs. Disability Benefits

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Posted By KSK Law | September 29 2022 | Disability Benefits, Workers' Comp

When you are unable to work, you can experience significant financial hardship. An unexpected disability or illness can cause you to miss weeks, months, or even years of wages, and in many cases, you can no longer earn a living on your own. In these situations, you may wonder whether you have options for compensation.

There are a few different types of financial support that you could claim, including workers’ compensation and disability benefits. There are several key differences between workers’ comp and disability claims, and it is important to understand which option is right for you.

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Overview

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to employees who are injured or develop an illness because of their job duties. In Minnesota, all businesses with at least one employee are usually required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

If an employee is hurt at work, he or she could file a claim and receive benefits for:

  • All necessary medical care related to the workplace injury
  • Mileage to travel to and from medical appointments
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Temporary disability benefits, which are paid until the claimant returns to work
  • Permanent disability benefits, which are paid for the entire period of disability
  • Death benefits, if the employee died of his or her injuries

To file a workers’ compensation claim, an employee will need to report the accident to his or her employer within 14 days. The employer will complete a form and file it with the insurance company, which then files a report with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (MDLI). The insurer will have 14 days to decide whether to approve or deny the claim. 

Disability Benefits Overview

Disability benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), this form of compensation pays benefits to people who have a qualifying disability and have paid enough Social Security taxes on their income. 

The SSA considers a person to have a qualifying disability if he or she meets all of the following requirements:

  • The claimant cannot work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of their medical condition.
  • The claimant cannot perform the work he or she did or take another job because of their medical condition. 
  • The claimant’s medical condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Monthly SSDI payments will vary in value based on several factors, such as your previous monthly earnings and whether you receive benefits from other sources. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, these injuries do not need to take place at work or be caused by a job to qualify for disability benefits.

Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Options for Compensation

Workers’ compensation and disability benefits are very different. If you believe that you qualify for one of these options for compensation, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your eligibility and the application process. 

A Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorney can work tirelessly to secure the benefits that you deserve. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.

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