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Workers' compensation versus disability: The differences

If you've been hurt, you need to understand the different kinds of benefits available to you. One of those benefits is workers' compensation, while another includes state-paid disability benefits. You may be entitled to one or both of these benefits, depending on your situation.

Workers' compensation benefits kick in when you are hurt on the job. It's an alternative to you having to seek a claim against your employer through the courts. Most employers carry this insurance, except for the rare situations where employers are exempt from doing so.

After your accident, you and your employer should submit the claim to his or her workers' compensation insurance company. Then, you wait to see if you have your claim approved or denied. If it's approved, the company will cover your medical expenses and possibly the income you're missing from being off the job.

You can receive both workers' compensation and disability payments in some cases, but your disability benefits will likely be reduced as a result of the workers' compensation claim. If you have been disabled or are expecting to be disabled for a year or longer or suffer from a terminal illness, then you may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance alongside your workers‘ compensation coverage.

Another thing to know is that if your workers' compensation claim is denied, you may still be able to obtain temporary or permanent disability payments through the state until your case is resolved. Workers' compensation should be paid until your condition is permanent or stabilizes; at that point, you become entitled to permanent disability payments if you are still unable to work.

Source: FindLaw, "The Difference Between Workers' Comp and Disability Benefits," accessed Dec. 22, 2016

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