When you suffer an injury, on the job or off, there are benefits available to help you maintain a standard of living until you can get back on your feet again. In some cases, you may even find that you are able to receive long-term benefits for a lifetime disability. As you evaluate your options, two of those that are most common include workers compensation and disability benefits. Read on to learn about each of these and how they are alike and different.
Workers Compensation: An Overview
Workers comp is provided as an alternative to benefits from a lawsuit when you suffer from an injury caused at work. Most state laws require that employers have workers compensation funds set aside to handle any claims from workers injured on the job. These are provided during the entire time you are injured or can be lifelong, depending on the severity of the injury and how long it affects your ability to work.
Disability Benefits: An Overview
Disability benefits are provided from the states, usually as the result of an injury that has been caused outside of work. They are intended to cushion your job loss and allow you to live comfortably after you have faced an injury. In some cases, you may also receive disability benefits if your employer decides to fight against your workers compensation claim.
Similarities and Differences Between Workers Comp and Disability Benefits
Workers comp and disability benefits are both intended to help when you lose your job, whether it is caused by an injury inside or outside of work. The major difference between the two is that workers compensation is paid out for an on-the-job injury while disability benefits are typically paid out for an off-the-job injury. Both of these are regulated by the state, however, your employer is responsible for establishing a workers comp fund. They also have the choice to try and dispute your claim, if they so choose. Some people also say that workers comp is more difficult to prove, because you must prove an injury happened at work. While this would be rather easy in the case of a slip that was caught on video or losing a finger because of an improperly maintained machine at work, it can be quite difficult if you have back injuries, lung problems, or other chronic problems that have resulted from working for a company for many years.
When You May Be Eligible to Receive Both
In some cases, you may be able to receive both disability benefits from the state and workers comp benefits. There are two scenarios in which this is likely to happen. In the first scenario, if your employer is fighting against the workers compensation payment and dragging out the litigation process, you may be able to collect disability benefits until you receive workers compensation. Then, you may or may not have to pay the money back if you receive extra workers comp for the missed time. In the second scenario, your workers comp may be lower than state disability payments. In this case, you are entitled to the difference between the two amounts.
As you weigh your options, remember that there are only certain times when each is applicable. Additionally, be sure you understand whether or not you have to pay back any amounts received for state disability and how long it will take for you to receive your benefits. If you need any assistance, speak with the Leo Trial Group to be sure you understand the process and what you will need to receive your benefits.