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Workers' compensation and disability benefits: can you get both?

When you are unable to work, you know that you may have a likely claim to disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. However, what if your current physical condition is the result of an accident that occurred in your workplace? Should you decide to pursue workers' compensation benefits instead? It's important to get the right type of benefits available to you, as well as maximize these benefits.

It may help to start with a better understanding of the differences between workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits. You may also want to know about the unique circumstances in which an injured individual may be able to get both types of benefits simultaneously. This can help you better protect your rights and ensure you get the help you need during this time.

Workers' comp versus disability

Workers' compensation benefits are payments from a New York employer's insurance company in the event that a worker suffers an injury in the workplace or becomes ill because of his or her work. By claiming these benefits, a worker relinquishes his or her right to litigate over the work accident. Workers' comp typically covers medical expenses, recovery of some of a person's lost wages and more. Workers' comp may include temporary disability benefits and, eventually, permanent disability.

Disability benefits are payments through the Social Security Administration for individuals who are unable to work because of an illness, medical condition, physical injury or mental disability. There must be the expectation that this disability will last for at least 12 months or for the rest of an applicant's life. 

What about both?

There are specific circumstances in which a worker may be able to get both disability benefits and workers' compensation benefits. In order to qualify for both of these, you must be an industrially injured worker who meets the eligibility requirements for both. It is possible that your disability benefits may lower because of your workers' compensation benefits. 

The right path for you

The right option for you after a work accident depends on the details of your individual situation. If you have questions about whether you should file for workers' comp or pursue disability benefits, you may want to talk with an attorney experienced in the application processes for both. A thorough evaluation of your injuries, your prognosis and other factors can reveal what the right way forward is for you.

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