Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance provided by your employer. It is the right to claim benefits when you get injured while at work. Any work-related injury grants you the right to claim compensation from the employer’s insurance company.
Worker’s compensation benefits cover:
- Medical bills resulting from the injury. It can include the doctor’s fees, hospital stay bills, physical therapy, ambulance charges, etc.
- Vocational rehabilitation therapy expenses
- Compensation for lost wages
- Death benefits for families of workers killed on the job
Worker’s compensation in Fort Lauderdale also allows the injured worker to file an appeal if the employer or their insurance company denies the claim. If the reason is invalid, consulting injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale can help in fighting for compensation.
What Are Social Security Disability and Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability in Fort Lauderdale has nothing to do with an employer or insurance company. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are administered by the Social Security Administration.
On the other hand, disability insurance is an insurance policy that covers a portion of your income if you become too sick or injured to work. Some employers offer short- and long-term disability coverage to employees, but you can also purchase a policy yourself.
The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Disability
The differences between worker’s compensation and disability are meaningful. Some of the key differences between the two are:
Employer vs. Federal Government
Your employer and their insurance company are responsible for providing the worker’s comp benefits for worker’s compensation. However, in the case of social security disability, the benefits are provided through the federal Social Security Administration.
Process of Eligibility
The beneficiary must first apply for short or long-term disability insurance to claim the benefits. On the contrary, in the case of worker’s compensation, you don’t have to apply for such insurance beforehand.
Almost all employers in Florida are required by law to provide worker’s compensation coverage to their employees. To qualify, you must have suffered a workplace accident or developed an occupational illness due to the nature of your work.
There are strict eligibility criteria for Social Security Disability.
- You must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security.
- You must have enough work credits.
- You must be unable to work because of your condition.
- You must be unable to do the work you did or adjust to other work.
- Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for more than one year or result in death.
Period of Coverage
The worker’s compensation benefits typically last longer than the disability insurance benefits. The worker’s compensation is divided into four types of coverage i.e., temporary total disability benefit, temporary partial disability benefit, impairment benefit, and permanent total disability benefit.
The maximum coverage is provided in case of permanent total disability wherein the injured employee will be provided benefits until maximum medical improvement is achieved. Also, a lump sum payment will be provided after the permanent total disability is diagnosed. It may take years or even a lifetime to achieve the maximum medical improvement. Worker’s compensation benefits would continue throughout.
On the contrary, in the case of insurance, the coverage usually depends on the type of insurance you opt for. The long-term benefits are also available for up to 26 to 52 weeks, i.e., max for a year.
The worker’s compensation benefits are tax-free. The benefits you claim are not subject to income tax. However, insurance benefits are subject to income tax, i.e., you may have to give a part of your benefit amount as tax.
Continuation of Benefits
Worker’s compensation benefits may continue partially even after you continue to work. This is usually the case if you are diagnosed with temporary partial disability. If you can perform a part of your duties like cutting work duration into half, you can still receive the worker’s comp benefits.
In the case of disability insurance, you won’t be able to receive the benefits once you return to work in any form.
Types of Expenses Covered
Worker’s comp benefits are known for covering 100% of the medical expenses without any limitation or deductions. From medical bills and transportation expenses to physical therapy benefits, all medical-related benefits are covered.
The same cannot be said for social security disability. SSI only covers limited medical expenses subject to various hurdles and regulations.
Once you report the injury to your employer and get the insurance company’s approval, you can get your benefits within a month or so of your injury. Workers’ comp benefits are not as smooth when the insurance company demands their suggested doctor should diagnose the injury.
It still has a less extensive process than claiming social security disability insurance. The application process is slow in SSDI, and you may have to make several appeals before your application is accepted. It is said that it takes about four to five months at least to fulfill their eligibility process.
Depending on the state, the worker’s compensation benefits are covered under the specific law or Act. The benefits may vary depending on your position in the job. The more the wage bracket, the better benefits you will receive.
The amount of benefits in the case of disability insurance is dependent solely on the type of policy you opt for, i.e., the long-term or short-term coverage.
Can an Injured Employee Collect Both Worker’s Compensation and Disability in Fort Lauderdale?
Yes, an employee can collect both worker’s compensation and social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, you may have to give back a part of your benefits if the total benefits exceed 80% of the average earnings you earned before you were disabled.
It also depends on the type of disability. You can collect short-term benefits twice. You may have to give back your SSDI in that case.
For instance, if your worker’s compensation benefit is denied, and you applied for short-term benefits with SSDI. Meanwhile, you also hired an attorney to file the case against your employer for denying you the claim. If you win the case, you will be granted disability benefits. This means you received the benefits twice. In this case, your social security disability benefits will be forfeited.
Hiring an Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
There are many other technicalities involved in claiming worker’s compensation or SSDI. It is advisable to consult an experienced worker’s comp attorney to clear your doubts and receive the maximum possible benefits allowed.
It is highly recommended to consult personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale for more information.