Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are supposed to be there as a source of income and support for workers who have become disabled through illness or injury.
But, what if your injuries are related to your workplace activity? Isn’t workers’ compensation supposed to step in and provide benefits and medical coverage for work-related injuries? Can you collect both SSDI and workers’ comp at the same time?
What to know about the difference between SSDI and workers’ comp
Before you decide to file for SSDI benefits, workers’ compensation or both, you need to know more about how each program works – and how they relate to each other. Here’s some key information:
- Workers’ comp is an employer-funded program that is administered, in this state, by the Department of Workers’ Claims, and it provides not only medical coverage for any workplace injuries but some replacement income and other benefits to injured workers.
- Social Security Disability benefits are a federally funded program for the disabled that is administered by the Social Security Administration. Qualifying for SSDI is much more difficult than qualifying for workers’ compensation. Injured workers have to have paid into the system for a certain amount of time to qualify for any benefits, while a worker who was injured on their first day on the job can still qualify for workers’ comp.
- Any workplace injury can qualify for workers’ comp, not just serious ones. Injured workers can also receive benefits for temporary injuries, not just permanent ones. Social Security Disability benefits, however, are reserved only for those with severe disabilities that are either permanent or at least likely to last more than a year.
How SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits intersect
You can file for both workers’ comp and SSDI at the same time, but many people choose to wait until their workers’ comp claims are about to “run out” before they file for SSDI. That’s because SSDI benefits are offset by workers’ comp benefits.
You can only receive a combined total benefit that’s equal to 80% of your average current earnings, as determined by Social Security.