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Workers’ Compensation vs. Disability Benefits

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Posted By DAM Firm | October 3 2023 | Workers' Compensation

When a person sustains an on-the-job injury in San Bernardino, they may be able to recover various types of compensation to help them throughout the recovery process. Additionally, there are longer-term benefits available through both workers’ compensation as well as through Social Security in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments or through private, third-party insurance coverage.

Here, we want to explain the difference between the two and examine when a person can secure each type of benefit. 

Workers’ Compensation vs. Disability Benefits

Workers’ Compensation for Long-Term Injuries

Workers’ compensation is designed to provide benefits to injured employees when their injury or illness arises due to work-related duties. Workers’ compensation is available to provide payment for most medical expenses associated with the workplace injury or illness, as well as temporary benefits for lost wages. In some cases, particularly when an individual sustains permanent injuries, workers’ compensation can provide permanent disability benefits.

State Disability Insurance

In this state, we have the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This is a partial wage replacement insurance program established for workers in the state. This type of insurance is designed to provide wage replacement to eligible workers who cannot perform their work duties because of a non-job related injury, illness, or pregnancy. These benefits are paid only for a short period of time.

Social Security Disability Insurance 

Individuals may be able to recover Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if they have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. Individuals will not be able to receive SSDI benefits unless their condition significantly limits their ability to perform work-related duties, such as standing, walking, sitting, lifting, or remembering for at least 12 months.

Additionally, the Social Security Administration maintains a list of conditions that they consider severe enough to prevent a person from carrying out job-related activities. If a person’s condition is not on the list, there is a separate process for deciding whether or not it is severe enough for a person to receive SSDI.

Private Disability Benefits

Many individuals pay into private insurance programs that have long-term disability benefits attached. In some cases, these private insurance programs are available through an employer, but individuals can also purchase plans separately on their own. If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify for third-party private disability benefits, we encourage you to thoroughly examine your policy documents. You may need to reach out to a work injury attorney to help ensure that you receive fair treatment from the third-party private insurance carrier.

Contacting an Attorney for Help

If you or somebody you love has sustained a workplace injury or illness and are having trouble understanding the compensation recovery process, we encourage you to contact an attorney as soon as possible. When you contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in San Bernardino, you will have an advocate who can examine your situation and help determine the best steps moving forward. This may include a work injury claim, a personal injury lawsuit, or filing for disability benefits from the government or a third party.

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