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What’s The Difference Between Social Security Disability & Workers Compensation?

For most people, the primary means of income is going to be simple and straightforward. You get a job, you work, and you get paid. Whatever you get paid, that money is yours to do with as you wish, whether it’s to pay a mortgage or save for a college fund for your children.

But for some people, through no fault of their own, things can go wrong. Accidents, after all, do happen, and some of them are serious enough that real harm can arise. When that happens, it may no longer be possible to work, and that’s when the “safety net” makes an appearance to help people to deal with situations that are no fault of their own.

Two of these safety nets are known as workers compensation and social security disability insurance. And while they have been implemented to help people with the challenges of an injury, they serve different purposes and have different qualifications. So what makes these two so different from each other?

An Accident At Work

Workers’ compensation, more popularly known as workers comp, is a form of financial protection for people who are injured on the job. Workers comp is generally viewed as a temporary form of financial support, cover-ing the cost of medical treatment, and acting as a substitute salary for the employee that is unable to work while recovering.

In other words, workers comp is here to help workers get back on their feet financially, without disrupting their lives through a lack of income. It is, however, a strictly temporary measure, and is designed to “cut off” once an employee recovers. It also has certain requirements. The accident, for example, must not be the result of negli-gence on the part of the employee. Getting hit by a random, falling object at a construction site would be cov-ered by workers comp. Falling off a roof due to dancing on the edge, however, would not.

An Inability To Work

Social security disability, on the other hand, is a form of financial support for people with permanent, crippling injuries that no longer allow them to return to their previous occupation. Someone who works in a factory, for example, that is caught in an accident that renders him or her paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, would be unlikely to return to the original job. The injury does not have to be work related to qualify.

In cases of social security disability insurance, a person must have been gainfully employed, and paying into a social security trust fund, usually through payroll taxes. The disability must have lasted at least one year, or is expected to last at least one year, or even result in death.

When It Doesn’t Work

However, both workers comp and social security disability are not guaranteed, even if you feel you meet their conditions. An insurance carrier for a business may deny a workers comp claim. And there are many instances where an SSD application gets rejected. Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story, you can always talk to a lawyer experienced in workers comp, or social security disability to see about challenging these decisions and getting the support you need.