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Social Security Disability Insurance vs. Workers’ Comp

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

When you are injured at work, your life can change in an instant. You could spend weeks or even months in recovery. You could develop permanent disabilities that make it difficult to return to your previous position. In some cases, you may become unable to work at all. 

If you were injured in a workplace accident, you can make up for lost income by filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or workers’ compensation benefits. SSDI is typically paid to those who are unable to work, while workers’ compensation covers both short-term and long-term disabilities.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

SSDI is a federal government program that provides financial assistance to disabled people. If you are unable to hold any gainful employment as a result of your impairment, you are likely eligible for SSDI. You do not need to have suffered your disability at work in order to apply for these benefits.

Applicants for SSDI must have worked in a job covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition of disability. Generally, SSA uses five questions to determine whether you qualify for benefits:

  • Are you currently working?
  • Does your condition significantly impair your ability to perform basic work activities, such as lifting, walking, or recalling memories?
  • Is your condition on the SSA’s list of disabling medical conditions?
  • Are you able to perform the work that you did previously?
  • Are you able to perform any other type of work?

If you are approved for SSDI, you and certain members of your family could receive monthly benefits. These fixed payments are calculated using a complicated formula, which is primarily based on your lifetime earnings. Payments from SSDI remain the same across states, but they may increase annually to reflect the cost of living adjustments.

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance system that pays for medical care and lost income if an employee is injured at work. Different states have different workers’ compensation laws and requirements.

In Minnesota, employers with at least one employee are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured or develop an occupational illness as a result of your job duties, you could file for workers’ compensation. The insurance covers a wide range of work-related injuries and illnesses, from minor injuries to severe disabilities.

By filing for workers’ compensation, you can receive the following benefits:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness
  • Temporary disability benefits, which are paid from the time of your injury to the time that you can return to work
  • Permanent disability benefits, which are paid if you suffer some level of ongoing impairment as a result of your work-related injury
  • Vocational rehabilitation services to help you find a new job in case you are unable to work

Speak to an Attorney About Your Options for Compensation

If you are suffering from a permanent impairment, you may qualify for SSDI or workers’ compensation benefits. However, applying for this coverage can be a complex process. 

In these situations, an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation can guide you through the application and help you recover the compensation that you deserve. When you become aware of your disability or are injured at work, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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