The Difference Between Social Security and Workers’ Compensation

Columbia Attorneys Knowledgeable in Work Injury Claims

Social Security and workers’ compensation benefits help millions of injured employees in Missouri. However, sometimes the two programs are difficult to differentiate. The work injury lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig are devoted to helping residents of Columbia and other communities throughout the state. We can help you understand the benefits to which you may be entitled.

SSDI is a Federal Program Available to Disabled Workers

Federal law provides relief for some disabled workers in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This is a federal program that extends throughout the nation. Its benefits are generally available only to individuals with long work histories who have been disabled to the point of being unable to work at all, no matter the job. Employees must be unable to work because of a medical or psychological impairment that is anticipated to affect them for a year or more or result in death.

Another important aspect of these disability benefits is that workers may qualify for them regardless of the cause of their harm. This means that, unlike workers’ compensation benefits, SSDI is available even if an employee cannot work because of an injury unrelated to the job. Disabled workers can begin collecting these benefits after a five-month waiting period.

People collecting both SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits may be subject to a law that limits the amount of benefits that an individual can receive. In the event that the combined benefits exceed 80 percent of his or her previous wages, the employee may face a reduction of Social Security disability benefits, called an offset.

Workers’ Compensation is an Insurance Program Run by States

Workers’ compensation differs from SSDI in several important ways. The major difference is that these benefits are available only to workers who were hurt on the job or while performing work-related duties. If, for example, you were seriously hurt in a car accident that was not related to your job, you are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but you may still be able to collect SSDI payments. This is because the workers’ compensation program is intended to compensate employees for injuries sustained on the job in exchange for not suing their employer.

There are some additional differences. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees from their first day on the job, rather than only to workers with long work histories. Furthermore, these programs are run by each state, which means that employees in Missouri may have different rights than those in Oklahoma or Illinois. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits are available not only to totally disabled workers, but also to employees who may be only temporarily or partially disabled. The extent of a person’s injury determines the benefits to which he or she may be entitled.

Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with a Jefferson City Lawyer

If you were hurt and are unable to work, you may qualify for assistance under the Missouri workers’ compensation program or the federal SSDI system. The Law Office of Matt Uhrig has assisted many individuals near Jefferson City who qualify for one or both of these benefits. One of our workers’ compensation attorneys can explain to you the compensation for which you may qualify. To see if we can help you, you can complete our online form or call us at (573) 657-2050.

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