Each year, workers’ compensation programs are responsible for nearly $60 billion in medical benefits and cash for injured and ill workers. The biggest disability insurance program in the country, though, is Social Security Disability Insurance. Ninety-five billion dollars was paid out in 2008 to workers considered disabled.
Injured or ill workers who meet SSDI requirements may collect payments alongside state workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, some may also qualify for Medicare benefits. Self-insurance or workers’ compensation insurance is required by law for more than 90 percent of people employed in all states except Texas. These employees are covered from the very first day of employment.
Benefits of workers’ compensation include medical care expense payments, cash payments for lost wages and permanent disability payments. The payments for lost wages are generally 66 percent of the employee’s wages. Those payments begin after a waiting period has passed, which is between three and seven days, depending on the state the employee works in.
A significant proportion of SSDI payments are due to illness and injuries that occurred because of a person’s work. However, SSDI is only available to workers who have met the requirements for work history, type of disability and how long the disability is expected to last.
Because the process for applying for SSDI can be fairly daunting, it’s best to have an advocate who will fight for benefits if the claim is denied. The same holds true for workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced Pennsylvania attorney can be a great benefit in terms of providing guidance and assistance with denied claims.
Source: U.S. Social Security Administration, “Workplace Injuries and the Take-Up of Social Security Disability Benefits,” accessed Sep. 22, 2015