Sometimes a work-related injury leads to disability. Millie suffered from chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by her years of working in a factory. Her COPD was so bad she could no longer work. Left with no income, she started looking into disability benefits. She learned she might be able to get workers’ comp and SSDI. The programs both might offer benefits, but there were some significant differences.
The Purpose of Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to workers who have received on-the-job injuries. Employers purchase workers’ comp insurance that pays injured employees benefits including lost wages and medical treatment.
To qualify for workers’ comp, the applicant must show they have a medical condition caused by a work-related injury or exposure to environmental hazards. For example, the air in Millie’s workplace was filled with dust and other airborne particles. She will have to prove that her work environment caused her COPD.
Workers’ comp typically covers temporary and short-term disabilities. A worker may be able to collect benefits for a permanent partial disability. In other words, worker who takes a lower paying job due to a disability may get benefits for the difference in income.
The Intent Behind SSDI
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a program administrated by the Social Security Administration. People who suffer a disability that restricts their ability to work may qualify for SSDI benefits.
To qualify, applicants must prove a disability that prevents or restricted them from working. The disability does not have to be work-related. It just has to affect the applicant’s ability to work.
Unlike workers’ comp, SSDI benefits are not offered for short-term or temporary disabilities. However, there are times when SSDI recipients may be able to go back to work.
Workers’ Comp and SSDI Working Together
As long as you qualify for both programs, it is possible to get workers’ comp and SSDI benefits. However, combined benefits cannot total more than 80% of the applicant’s prior income. If Millie earned $40,000 a year before becoming disabled, she can only receive workers’ comp and SSDI benefits totaling $32,000.
Are You Able to Get Workers’ Comp and SSDI?
Yes, as long as you qualify for both programs.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ legal experience, much of it involving Social Security Disability Insurance claims. They can help you with your application and any appeals that might be needed.
Call us at 714-385-8100 for a free consultation. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.