Comparing workers' compensation benefits with SSDI benefits

Most workers in the Stockton area understand that they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they suffer an injury while working. Many also understand that they may be eligible for Social Security Disability Income benefits if they become permanently disabled. The exact relationship between the two disability programs is often complex and confusing, and an understanding of the basic elements of each program can be helpful in filing a claim for benefits.

Workers' compensation is a program of insurance enacted in California. Almost anyone who suffers an injury on the job is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The amount of the benefit depends on the extent of the injury. Is the injury permanent? Did the injury cause a disability? The benefits for a disability depend on whether the disability was total or partial, and whether it was temporary or permanent. Workers' compensation generally pays medical expenses and benefits for lost wages and any disability.

SSDI benefits are part of a federal insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration. To be eligible for benefits, a person must suffer from a total disability caused by an illness or injury, and the medical condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months or to result in death. Unlike workers' compensation benefits, SSDI benefits do not depend upon a work-related illness or injury. Any verifiable medical condition that results in total disability to engage in substantial gainful activity will potentially provide the basis for SSDI benefits.

Anyone who suffers from a significant injury or illness may wish to apply for either workers' compensation or SSDI benefits, or both, depending upon the person's particular circumstances. Seeking advice from an experienced disability benefits attorney can ease the application process. If either kind of claim is denied or limited, an attorney can assist in filing the proper appeal.

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