When you sustain an injury, you should look at every assistance option there is.
Two of the most useful are workers’ compensation and disability. Unfortunately, choosing exactly how to navigate the world of post-injury benefits can be exceptionally complicated. Below, we give a few tips on how to do so. Additionally, it is always best to discuss your case with an experienced Kansas City work injury lawyer.
The Mechanics of Workers’ Compensation
When you sustain an injury at your workplace, you are typically eligible for the workers’ compensation. The general process is as follows: Report your injury to your employer, see a doctor for a medical assessment, negotiate on the sum of benefits you will receive, and settle at a number that you and your company think is fair. The organization that pays your benefits is your employer’s insurance company, and the amount of payment you receive is based on the extent of your injuries. While the government heavily regulates this system, the players in it are all in the private sector.
How Disability Benefits Work
Disability benefits are part of the Social Security system, which makes them a form of government assistance. To obtain them, you must submit an application that details your physical condition. At some point, an agent will likely set up an appointment to assess you further. If they agree that your damages are severe enough, they will assign you a monthly payment.
Where Were You Injured?
The first thing you need to consider is the location of your injury. Workers’ compensation is for employees that sustain injuries at their workplace. If your ailments came as a result of non-work activities, you are likely not eligible and should shift your focus to disability.
The Extent of Your Damages
Assuming your injuries happened at work, you may be eligible for both kinds of benefits. The next critical factor to understand is injury severity. The following are the standard damage requirements for both systems.
Workers’ Compensation – No matter how severe your injuries are, you will likely be entitled to benefits if you cannot complete the functions of your current job. This means that even something relatively minor like carpal tunnel can lead to compensation as long as you cannot work at full capacity.
Disability – In general, this type of compensation is solely for people that are entirely disabled. This usually means that they cannot work any job, not just their old one. The result of this guideline is that the disability system is for only those with the most severe damages.
Can I Collect Both?
In some situations, you will not have to choose between the two. Instead, you can collect both simultaneously. Doing so does not mean a massive monthly income, though, as the total compensation from both combined cannot exceed 80% of your former salary.
When deciding on your compensation strategy, we recommend consulting with a work injury attorney before making any concrete decisions. Still, educating yourself and obtaining foundational knowledge is incredibly useful. Now that you have some familiarity with this subject, you can navigate it with greater confidence.