Since workers’ compensation disability and Social Security Disability benefits both provide monetary support for injured Colorado residents who are unable to work, many people may be unsure of which program they qualify for. As a result, injured individuals may end up applying for the wrong program and be denied benefits they desperately need.
First of all, workers’ compensation benefits are available to those who are injured during the course of their employment. That means workers’ comp can only be availed for work-related injuries through one’s employer. Through this program, employers pay for medical bills and wages lost due to the injury or illness. Employees receiving benefits through this process are considered to be suffering from a temporary injury and are typically not considered disabled. In other words, they are expected to return to work. Disability insurance, on the other hand, only amounts to a fraction of a person’s salary and is given to someone who can no longer perform their work-related duties due to an injury or illness. Unlike workers’ compensation programs, workers contribute to their potential SSD benefits during the course of their employment.
Both programs have their limitations. For example, neither program pays an injured or disabled person’s full salary. They also do not provide assistance to people who have intentionally become injured. Workers injured on the job must also go through a reporting procedure where the injury and incident must be reported to receive workers’ compensation.
Applying for the wrong program can end up causing unnecessary delays, which can be especially problematic when one needs monetary assistance as quickly as possible. For this reason, it might be helpful for those seeking benefits to consult with an experienced attorney to make sure one is applying to the correct program, which may avoid a disheartening delay.