If you are sick or injured and you are not able to work, you must explore your options for getting disability income. There are a number of different kinds of benefits programs which could potentially be available to you, and you need to select the right one to maximize your monthly disability income. You should explore whether you are eligible for multiple programs and also take steps to understand the qualification requirements for all sources of disability income.
An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with help in understanding different options for disability benefits. Among the different types of programs that your attorney can explain and can help you to apply for are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Atlanta workers’ compensation.
SSDI vs. Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Both Atlanta workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI could potentially be available to someone who is disabled. However, the two programs are not the same and understanding the differences is essential.
One of the most fundamental differences relates to when you become eligible to receive benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance is available to you if you have worked for a long enough period of time to earn enough work credits, with the required work history determined by your age. If you have not earned work credits, and cannot qualify on a spouse or parent’s work record, you cannot get SSDI benefits. Workers’ compensation disability benefits, on the other hand, can be available to you from day one on the job. If you start working, you should usually be covered immediately by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
Another key difference relates to eligibility criteria. SSDI benefits are available to people with long-term disabling conditions only. The benefits are also available only if your condition makes you unable to do the job you were doing before you got sick or hurt, and if you are unable to do any other job for which you are qualified. If you can make a living and do not absolutely require SSDI benefits based on a severe disabling illness or injury, you won’t get approved for benefits. Workers’ comp benefits, on the other hand, can provide you with short-term disability benefits if you can’t work for a limited time. Workers’ comp disability benefits can also provide you with partial disability income if you can still do some work but your earning potential is reduced.
There are other key differences in eligibility criteria as well. For workers’ comp benefits, for example, you are eligible to receive disability income only if you can prove an illness or an injury was work-related. With SSDI benefits, your illness or injury could have been caused by anything and you will be eligible for benefits as long as you can prove you’ve worked long enough to earn work credits and your injury is severe and long-lasting enough.
You need to understand which program is right for you, or whether you can qualify for both, so you don’t delay in getting the disability benefits you need. An attorney can help.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.