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Can you get benefits to supplement workers’ compensation?

If you’re unable to work for an extended period because of an illness or injury, one of your top priorities is securing a source of income while you’re not receiving a paycheck. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the government and long-term disability (LTD) insurance, which many people have through an employer-sponsored plan, can help you and your family.

If your injury or illness was caused by an accident at work or by your work environment, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Employees may be able to file an LTD claim as well as a workers’ comp claim. In fact, your LTD insurer may require you to file a workers’ comp claim in order to get LTD coverage. If workers’ comp is paying for some of an employees’ expenses, that lowers the amount the insurer has to pay.

Workers’ comp is designed to be a temporary safety net for employees who are unable to work for a time. When an employee’s condition outlasts the workers’ compensation coverage, he or she may be able to get SSDI. Sometimes workers can collect SSDI and workers’ comp at the same time. However, the total of benefits from the two programs can’t be more than 80 percent of their income at the time the employee had to stop working.

Navigating this “alphabet soup” of benefits can be frustrating and exhausting, particularly at an already difficult time for you and your loved ones. However, you want to be sure that you’re getting all of the benefits to which you’re entitled. An experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable assistance.

Source: Kiplinger, “The Alphabet Soup of Disability Income: SSDI, LTD and WC,” Michael Stein, May 30, 2018

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