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Important Differences Between Workers’ Compensation and Disability

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 10, 2021

Realizing that an injury or medical condition has rendered you disabled can shake your world. And when a workplace accident is the cause of an injury or illness, it can result in workers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere questioning what they can do to address the harms they are currently suffering as well as the future damages they may endure.

Workers’ Compensation Explained

Workers’ compensation is used in instances where an employer would be liable for an injury or illness suffered. In other words, if it were not for an employer carrying workers’ compensation insurance, an injured employer could sue an employer for the injuries or harms suffered due to an injury or illness that stemmed from the work environment.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are available for those who have lost income due to an injury or illness causing a temporary or permanent disability; however, these benefits are not paid through an employer. An individual may receive disability benefits if they are eligible for workers’ compensation and the disability benefits are higher than workers’ compensation benefits.

Additionally, if a worker’s claim for workers’ compensation is being disputed, disability benefits are available for the individual while this dispute is resolved. However, it should be noted that if an individual is successful in their workers’ compensation case, he or she will be required to pay the state back its money for disability benefits paid.

Receiving Both Benefits

There are some occasions where a worker may receive both disability and workers’ compensation. If the worker has paid the necessary funds to be covered under the Social Security disability program, than he or she could draw from both SSDI and workers’ compensation at that same time.

It can be challenging to navigate these matters, especially when the main focus is on medical treatment and recovering from n injury. Thus, it may be helpful to gain legal assistance to get a better understand of your rights and options.