If you must stop working because of an injury or illness, you may be entitled to cash benefits through workers’ compensation insurance or the Social Security disability (SSD) program. Eligibility will depend on the cause of your condition and its severity. Here’s what you should know about these two programs so you can determine which may be worth pursuing.
A Guide to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is an employer-funded insurance program that protects companies from litigation. Should you get hurt on the job, you can file a claim with your employer’s insurer. By accepting the benefits that result, which should include medical care and a portion of any lost wages (if you miss more than seven days of work), you’re agreeing not to sue your employer for damages.
Generally speaking, employees who sustain work-related injuries or develop occupational diseases are entitled to these benefits as long as their conduct prior to the accident did not constitute gross negligence. For example, intoxicated workers who get behind the wheel of a company vehicle and end up in a wreck are not entitled to workers’ comp because drunk driving would be considered grossly negligent. Otherwise, though, fault does not typically impact workers’ comp claims.
A Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits are funded by the government. This program is for those who expect to be injured, ill, or disabled for an extended period of time and are therefore unable to work for at least one year. To secure SSD benefits, you must prove that you have a qualifying condition and that you’re no longer able to earn a living wage because of it. You must also prove that you paid into the system up to that point by earning work credits. If your application is approved, you will receive a check every month.
If your injury or illness was caused by a work accident, you might be entitled to both workers’ compensation and SSD benefits. However, your SSD benefits may be reduced because your workers’ comp payments will count toward your monthly income.
If you want to file a claim for workers’ compensation or Social Security disability, turn to the resourceful attorneys at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC for help. The largest firm in La Crosse, WI, this practice has been in business for more than 20 years. In that time, they’ve recovered over $90 million for injured, ill, and disabled parties. Today, their team has more than a century of combined experience in the legal field, and you can be sure they’ll put it to work for you. To see what past clients have to say about their tireless dedication, visit their website. To schedule a consultation, call (877) 784-1230.