A person who is unable to work may seek financial assistance from a variety of government programs. Some may look toward disability programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Others may be more likely to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. How difficult is it to know whether you need disability or workers’ compensation? Understanding how the programs work should help you make your decision.
Separate Programs with Separate Requirements
SSDI and SSI are both run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI provides financial support to people who are disabled but who have also acquired work credits. SSI also gives cash support to beneficiaries, but work credits are not an issue.
In California, the Division of Workers’ Compensation manages the state’s workers’ compensation program. An employee who is injured at work or who develops an occupational disease may qualify for financial support.
Conditions Covered by Each Program
SSDI and SSI cover many medical conditions. The SSA maintains a list of impairments that may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI. This list is extensive and covers many medical conditions. However, benefits are provided only for total disability.
Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker who has been injured at work or who has developed an occupational disease. An on-the-job injury might occur as a result of:
- repetitive action or exposure
- a one-time event, incident, or accident
A worker diagnosed with a condition might receive workers’ compensation if the condition was caused by exposure at work. If the medical condition is not work-related, the worker will have to prove that the condition is disabling to receive disability benefits.
Disability and Workers’ Compensation?
In some cases, a worker may be eligible for both disability benefits and workers’ compensation. However, the total benefits cannot be more than 80% of the beneficiary’s previous income. If the benefits do exceed the prior income, SSDI benefits usually will be reduced.
Call If You Need Help Deciding Whether You Need Disability or Workers’ Comp
Whether you can combine the benefits or only take advantage of one program, you may need help applying for benefits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.