If an Employee Receives Workers’ Compensation Benefits, are They Eligible for Disability, Unemployment or Social Security Benefits?

benefit eligibility

Workers’ compensation was specifically designed to compensate injured workers for medical expenses and lost wages. Clients often wonder if they can collect benefits in addition to what they may receive from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. As always, the answer depends on your unique circumstances. Discussing your work injury claim with an attorney at Dworken & Bernstein is the best way to determine if you may qualify for additional benefits.

Social Security benefits

You may still collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits while you’re collecting workers’ compensation disability benefits, but there are certain caveats.

First, you must have a disability which prevents you from working any job. Workers’ compensation, however, will cover partial disability. Furthermore, your combined workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits may not exceed 80 percent of your average monthly income. Finally, it is important to remember that workers’ compensation benefits are available when your disability prevents you from working for seven days, whereas SSDI benefits are not available to you, even if you qualify, for five months after the onset of your disability.

There are also Social Security retirement benefits available to workers over a certain age. Generally, you may still collect retirement benefits while you receive workers’ compensation benefits, but it may impact the amount of your award. Be sure to talk to your workers’ compensation attorney at Dworken & Bernstein to find out how your benefits may be impacted.

Unemployment benefits

Generally, you may not collect unemployment benefits while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. This is because, if you collect workers’ compensation, you are presumed to still have a job. Unemployment benefits are for people who do not have a job, but are ready, willing and physically able to work. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims can take a while to resolve, which means employees may struggle to make ends meet until their benefits begin. Talk to our attorneys to find out what your options may be.

If your employer fires, demotes or reassigns you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, be sure to talk to us right away. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing for workers’ compensation benefits.

The attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein can help you navigate workers’ compensation, Social Security and unemployment claims. Call today for a consultation.

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