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Wilkes-Barre Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Workers Compensation > Differences between Workers’ Compensation and Disability Claims

Differences between Workers’ Compensation and Disability Claims

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Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that can assist injured employees by replacing a portion of their salary and helping with medical expenses. This coverage is available for everyone, provided you are an employee and injured in the course and scope of your employment, regardless of fault. You might be wondering what the difference is between a workers’ compensation claim and a disability claim.

To learn more, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help.

Overview of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance is available through your employer. It only covers work-related injuries or illnesses that you sustain while doing your job. If you are injured outside of work or on your personal time, coverage will not extend. Besides paying for a portion of your lost wages and medical expenses, benefits might also cover retraining costs if you are permanently unable to return to your job. If a worker is killed on the job, workers’ compensation could pay benefits to beneficiaries.

Laws vary from state to state on workers’ compensation programs and benefits. Some states require employers with a certain minimum number of employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, coverage is mandatory for most employers in Pennsylvania. Employers who don’t have the right coverage in place or are not self-insured for losses could face lawsuits.

Disability Benefits

State disability insurance covers a portion of your income if you are unable to work. One of the most significant differences between disability and workers’ compensation is that disability insurance will cover your injuries, both on and off the job. For disability to kick in, you don’t need to show that your injuries were work-related. Disability benefits are not paid through your employer, either.

Workers’ compensation and disability insurance are not that different in reality. They can work in tandem in some cases. Workers’ compensation covers workplace injuries while disability can cover those that occur outside of your day to day job duties. An employee receiving workers’ compensation benefits usually has a temporary injury rather than a permanent disability.

Depending on the coverage available, a disability claim can be complicated to pursue. You may need to show more documentation and be questioned more in-depth, such as the benefits you apply for through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Limitations of Both Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits 

Both systems have their limitations too. Workers who are taking time off work for either type of claim don’t receive their full salary. In some cases, disability benefits could pay less than 50% of your salary. And, depending on the policy, you could be paying an extra premium that applies to long-term illnesses or injury.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania, let an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer help. Schedule a free initial consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton, and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.

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