If you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to Arizona workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, if your injury has left you disabled, you may also be eligible for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Because obtaining workers’ comp and SSDI is challenging, it is wise to work with an experienced workers’ compensation and disability attorney.
At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, we help injured workers and disabled individuals obtain the benefits they deserve. While it is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI at the same time, you need to qualify for both. These programs define disability differently, and receiving SSDI may affect how much you can collect for workers’ comp.
When you consult with us, we will help you navigate the worker’s compensation claims process and determine whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. We offer free consultations and there is never a fee until we obtain benefits for you. Contact our Phoenix office today to get started.
Workers’ Compensation v. Disability Benefits in Arizona
There are important differences between workers’ compensation and disability insurance.
Workers’ compensation is insurance most employers are required to purchase to cover employees who get injured at work. You are covered by workers comp from your first day of employment.
To qualify for benefits, you must have sustained an injury or an occupational illness in the course of performing employment-related duties.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). You pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. SSDI is designed to provide you with income if you are unable to work due to a disability, regardless of whether your injury or illness is work-related. To qualify for SSDI, you must have:
- Earned enough work credits
- Have a condition that is a disability, as determined by the SSA
- Be unable to work for at least a year
Both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI typically continue until you can return to work.
How You Can Collect Both Workers’ Compensation and Disability
While receiving workers’ compensation benefits does not disqualify you for SSDI, the total amount you collect from both programs cannot exceed 80 percent of the income you previously earned. Also, your Social Security Disability benefits might be reduced. The SSA will subtract from your benefits to bring the total you’re receiving below the 80 percent threshold.
It is also important to note that workers’ compensation is typically provided on a more temporary basis than SSDI. If workers’ compensation benefits end, your Social Security benefits might be increased.
In addition, the worker’s compensation program and SSA define disability differently. Under workers’ comp, you are covered if a work injury prevents you from performing your current job duties. You typically receive temporary total disability benefits assuming that you will return to work after your treatment.
On the other hand, you can only collect SSDI if you are totally disabled, meaning that you cannot perform any type of work. If you are permanently disabled because of your work injury, you might be able to receive permanent total disability benefits through workers’ comp and SSD benefits concurrently.
How To Get Approved for Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits
If you have been seriously injured at work, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer must then report your injury to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) within 10 days of receiving your notice. You must also submit a worker’s compensation claim to the ICA and provide medical evidence that supports your claim.
If your worker’s comp claim is approved, you can still seek Social Security Disability benefits, but the claims process for SSDI may take several months, and the majority of initial claims are denied. Workers’ comp claims are also frequently denied when employers contest a claim or the insurance carrier contends that an injury or illness was due to a preexisting condition.
The best way to obtain all the benefits you deserve is to work with our capable attorneys. We are highly experienced in handling worker’s comp and disability benefits claims and have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes. Once you become our client, we will:
- Help you file all your benefits applications, documents, and paperwork accurately
- Work with your doctor to compile medical evidence that supports your claims
- Enlist medical and vocational experts to provide supporting testimony
- Handle all communications with the workers’ comp insurance carrier and the SSA
- File a workers’ comp and/or disability appeal if your claims are denied
- Represent you in hearings before the ICA and the SSA
You can trust our legal team to provide you with compassionate representation when you need it most and stand by you at all times.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Workers Compensation and Disability Attorneys
Being injured on the job and unable to work can be overwhelming. Becoming disabled is life-altering. Don’t go it alone. Let our attorneys help you get the workers’ comp and disability benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.