Social Security Disability Benefits Vs. Workers' Compensation

Posted on: 12 January 2021

When you are considering pursuing Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) or workers' compensation, you might be wondering if your benefits will be able to help you pay your bills in the long-run. After all, as inflation goes up, the everyday cost of living can become much higher.

However, SSDI comes with a cost-of-living adjustment that will regularly increase how much you will receive. If you are still not sure if you should pursue workers' compensation or SSDI, it's important to speak with an attorney.

Why You Should Speak With an Attorney

You will typically want to file for either SSDI benefits or workers' compensation. You might be tempted to file for both, but you should speak with an SSDI attorney first because applying for both types of benefits can send mixed signals to the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Workers' compensation is meant to provide you with compensation for when you have become injured at work. These benefits are intended for injuries that are work-related. You may not be qualified if:

  • You were engaged in horseplay when you were injured
  • Your injuries might have developed outside of work
  • You were on-the-clock but were engaged in an activity that wasn't work-related 

However, with SSDI benefits, your injuries do not necessarily have to be work-related but simply need to affect you in such a way that prevents you from working. This can be useful if you are not able to prove that your injuries were the result of something that occurred at work. 

What You Must Prove to the SSA

Rather than the focus being on where your injuries came from, the focus is on whether your condition will prevent you from working for 12 months and whether you will be able to retrain to perform another line of work. If you are not sure whether you will qualify for SSDI benefits, your SSDI attorney can go over the facts of your case to help you determine if you're qualified.

In some cases, you may be unable to work but you may find it difficult to prove this. For example, you may not fall under one of the qualifying conditions and you may instead have a condition that is debilitating but not listed. 

Fortunately, an SSDI attorney can help you craft a case for why you should still be qualified with solid evidence such as your doctor's recommendations and your medical history. To learn more, contact a social security disability lawyer near you.