Ohio residents may be aware that people who have been injured, and, due to the severity of their conditions, cannot work, may be eligible to receive certain government benefits. There are a few programs geared to ensuring that those who are too disabled to work have some safety net that will allow them to support themselves in some fashion. Two of these programs are worker’s compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD). The question may then arise: what is the difference between these two programs?
One major difference between the two programs is that you are eligible for each partially based upon where your injury occurred. As might be guessed, worker’s compensation benefits are only available to people who have been injured on the job (there is a plethora of different regulations and case law that deals with what “on the job” means, but that is beyond the scope of this article.) One purpose of worker’s compensation laws is that they are meant, in part, as a replacement to litigation in cases where an employer might otherwise be liable for an employee’s injury. As such, worker’s compensation is funded largely by payments made by employer’s into a worker’s compensation fund, which acts as a kind of insurance against having to pay out monies to injured workers.
SSD is also a kind of insurance, but, rather than being funded by companies, it is funded by workers themselves. Generally, a small amount of money is taken from employees’ paychecks that are put into a fund with the Social Security Administration. Because of this, SSD benefits may be paid out if a disabling injury occurs away from work, or, in other words, in cases where an employer would not be liable. It is possible for a person to collect both benefits at the same time in certain circumstances, but the value of the SSD benefits may be reduced if other benefits are being received.
There are some basic eligibility requirements to receive either type of benefits, and gathering and providing sufficient evidence to meet them can be complex. If you are injured, whether in a work accident or away from your job, it might be a good idea to consider consulting an Ohio disability attorney.
Source: findlaw.com “The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Disability Benefits,” accessed, Jan. 8, 2014