Exploring Both Workers' Compensation And SSDI

Posted on: 29 August 2020

For those suffering from a work-related injury, the process to get benefits can be confusing. Not only should a hurt worker qualify for their employer's workers' compensation benefits but they may also qualify for a government benefit program from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Read below to find out which program is best for you and how to get the maximum benefit you can after a work-related injury or illness.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

This program is provided by private insurance companies and the employer pays the premiums. Almost all workers will qualify for the below benefits if their claim is approved. The injury or illness must be work-related and each worker is covered from day one on the job. If the injury is permanent and the worker cannot return to their job, a settlement from the workers' compensation insurer should be offered. In the initial stage of the injury, benefits include:

  • Medical care expenses.
  • Disability wage of about 66.6% of the usual salary.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI is a government benefit program that pays out monthly to those who are unable to work at their jobs for a certain period of time. It can take a lot longer to be approved for SSDI than for workers' comp, however. While your medical condition does not necessarily have to be related to your job, you do have to prove that you can no longer work and earn money.

How The Two Programs Intersect

It's vital for hurt workers to understand how these two benefits programs affect each other if they want the best possible outcome for income replacement. When you are deemed to be permanently disabled by a workers' comp doctor, you may also qualify for SSDI but you must apply and meet SSA standards separately. If you have been awarded a workers' compensation lump-sum settlement, you may also be able to collect SSDI benefits at the same time (pending SSDI approval). The main point to keep in mind is that the way your workers' comp settlement is structured can negatively affect your SSDI benefits if you are not careful.

Income Limits and SSDI

When you settle with the workers' comp insurer, an agreement is created that sets out how much you will be paid. You might be paid a one-time lump-sum amount only or an initial lump-sum payment along with some regular periodic payments (also called a structured payment plan). Before you agree to a workers' compensation settlement, talk with a workers' compensation law firm like Neifert Byrne & Ozga. They can advise you on how to structure your settlement so that you can get the maximum SSDI benefit.