Workers’ compensation is not the same as disability benefits. Although both programs cover you financially after an injury, they have some major differences that you need to understand.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is compensation you receive after you get hurt at work. Under most state laws, if you get hurt at work, your employer’s insurance must cover your medical costs and potentially provide you with temporary disability benefits if you are unable to return to work.
What are disability benefits, and why are they not the same as workers’ compensation?
Disability benefits are a way to replace your lost income when you can’t go back to work, but they are not something your employer can be held responsible for paying. State disability benefits provide you with benefits on a weekly basis for the time you can’t work a normal job or support yourself due to your disability. Disability payments are not made through your employer, so if you have a dispute about workers’ compensation payments, you may still be able to receive disability payments from the state.
Can you receive both disability and workers’ compensation payments?
There are some cases when you might receive both. For example, if you get hurt and are permanently disabled or suffer a terminal illness because of your work, then you may be covered by the Social Security disability system and also be able to receive workers’ compensation for your injury. It’s possible that the Social Security disability payments you receive could be lowered because of accepting workers’ compensation, however, so it’s important to talk to your attorney about the way to receive the most from your claims.
Source: FindLaw, “The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Disability Benefits,” accessed June 07, 2016