If you have a workplace injury, you may think that filing for disability instead of workers’ compensation benefits will save you time and get you better benefits. In reality, the opposite may be true.
What does filing for disability really mean?
Many people casually refer to “filing for disability” or “being on disability” after an injury. Disability benefits may come from a variety of sources, including a private disability insurance company or the federal government.
If you have private disability insurance, your insurer may pay you if you have a workplace injury and are unable to work as a result. However, you are at the mercy of the insurance company. Often they have complicated requirements for qualifying injuries that you may not meet. Also, you must spend hundreds in premiums out of pocket to obtain coverage in case of a future injury.
If you want to apply for federal disability, you might qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs often deny people when they first apply, and they have very strict eligibility requirements based on income and assets. Further, your SSDI benefits may be reduced by any workers’ compensation benefits you receive.
Is workers’ comp better than disability?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim doesn’t really give you “better” benefits than disability, but it may be easier to get paid. The Minnesota workers’ compensation laws protect any employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. You do not have to buy insurance or fill out an application to be covered. Instead, all you need to do is report your injury to your employer.
Further, workers’ compensation insurance companies do not just send you benefits checks in the mail. They also cover your injury-related medical expenses. You can visit the doctor for treatment, and the bill should go to the insurance company.
Also, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits at the same time that you receive private disability payments or Social Security disability benefits. As mentioned above, the SSA may decrease your benefits if you get both SSDI and workers’ comp.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.