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Workers’ Compensation vs. Social Security Disability


Learn About Maximizing Benefits from an Experienced Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney

When you are unable to work due to an injury or illness, it is important to make sure that you receive the maximum benefits available. In many cases, this will mean filing for workers’ compensation or Social Security disability (SSD) benefits—and in some cases, it will mean filing for both. A Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer at Malek & Malek Law Firm can assess your eligibility for both types of benefits and file one or both claims on your behalf.

5 Key Differences Between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability

From the eligibility criteria to the benefits that are available, there are several differences between workers’ compensation and Social Security disability. Some of the key differences include:

1. Cause of Injury or Illness

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, you must be able to prove that your injury or illness is job-related. This means that you must have suffered your injury or illness within the scope of your employment—though not necessarily while performing your job duties. For example, if you slipped and fell on the way to the bathroom at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In contrast, Social Security disability covers both job-related and non-job-related medical conditions.

2. Severity of Injury or Illness

Under Ohio’s workers’ compensation law, all job-related injuries and illnesses are covered. Regardless of the severity of your condition, you are entitled to medical benefits from the moment you get sick or fall ill.

However, to file for SSD, your condition must qualify as a “disability” under the federal Social Security Act. You can learn about the federal definition of a disability on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website.

3. Eligibility for Benefits

In Ohio, workers’ compensation eligibility is based on your employment status. As a general rule, employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, while independent contractors are not.

Social Security disability, on the other hand, is based on your work history. You receive Social Security “credits” each year you work, and you must earn enough credits based on your age before you can file for SSD.

4. Application Process

The application processes for workers’ compensation and SSD are very different. In Ohio, filing for workers’ compensation involves dealing with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in most cases—though some employees will need to deal with their employers directly. To file for SSD, you must submit a lengthy application form to the SSA, and you will need to complete various other steps along the way.

5. Types of Benefits Available

The types of benefits available through workers’ compensation and Social Security are different, too. While workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work, SSD benefits are determined based on your income and other factors.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have questions about your right to benefits while you are unable to work in Ohio, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation. Please call 888-444-7440 or contact us online to speak with a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney at Malek & Malek Law Firm.