Social Security Disability versus Workers’ Compensation

October 24, 2019

Individuals who are injured and unable to work can suffer financially without regular paychecks. To make up for the lack of income, workers often rely on social security disability insurance or workers’ compensation payments during this time. Understanding when to apply for social security disability insurance or workers’ compensation benefits can help individuals make appropriate financial decisions during this time.

Work-Related Injuries

The most significant difference between social security disability and workers’ compensation insurance is the type of coverage provided. Workers’ compensation covers injuries occurring on the job site in the course of an individual’s employment. If an individual’s injuries resulted from a non-employment event, such as a recreational activity or a chronic medical condition unrelated to one’s work duties, workers’ compensation is not an available option.

Long Term Injuries

Many work-related injuries covered by workers’ compensation insurance are temporary. Individuals with long term medical complications are unable to work due to an inability to perform their job duties. Under social security disability insurance programs, individuals unable to work for long periods due to illness or injury will be compensated a portion of their earnings, regardless of whether the injury is work-related. Workers dealing with chronic but non-work-related medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or cancer, can use social security disability insurance to help cover lost wages.

Payment of Insurance Premiums

Due to the work-related nature of the covered injuries, employers pay the majority of workers’ compensation premiums. Payments to injured employees unable to work due to their work-related injury become the responsibility of the employer. With state-sponsored workers’ compensation programs, employees pay a portion of the premium through FICA taxes. Social security disability insurance premiums are paid through FICA taxes taken directly out of an employee’s paycheck.

Benefits Received

The amount of salary covered by disability or workers’ compensation insurance varies by state. Social security disability payments are made monthly for set amounts. Workers’ compensation benefits can be received in a lump sum or as monthly payments. Generally, neither provides benefits covering a worker’s complete salary.

Workers’ compensation benefits can also provide financial compensation for the medical expenses related to a work injury. Medical treatment costs, occupational therapy fees, physical therapy fees, rehabilitation services costs, and prescription drug expenses may be covered under workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation benefits end when the injured worker can return to work to perform their duties. Under social security disability insurance, injured workers may receive payments until they reach retirement age, at which time the benefits will convert to retirement benefits. If an injured worker reaches the maximum monthly income limit, they will no longer receive social security disability payments.

Reduction of Benefits

Some workers with long term disabilities or terminal illnesses may be eligible to receive both disability and workers’ compensation. In most cases, the social security disability payment may be partially reduced to reflect receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for the Rights of Injured Workers

If you or a loved one suffered injuries preventing you from working, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. are ready to assist you. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or contact us online today.

Located in PhiladelphiaBensalemLansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum LynneDarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssingtonFolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztownLansdowneMediaMerion StationMortonNarberthNorristownNorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect ParkQuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper DarbyWest Chester, and Wynnewood.