You may not know it, but if you are working, you are likely already paying into two types of disability insurance that could help you and your family in the event that you suffer an injury and are unable to work. These two programs are workers’ compensation (which state law governs) and Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits (which come from the federal government).
You and your employer pay the premiums for this disability coverage. For SSDI benefits, payroll taxes come from you and your employer, generally in equal amounts, but recent tax cuts have reduced the amount that employees pay. Workers’ compensation premiums come from your employer who either covers the risk of your injury itself (if it has the money to do so) or pays for insurance coverage from a private company or the state. But, employers usually pass these costs onto employees through lower wages, so workers’ compensation is something that workers pay for themselves at least somewhat.
Both programs require work to cover you, but only workers’ compensation covers you from day one on the job. If you are hurt on the first day of work, workers’ compensation will help offset your loss of income. SSDI benefits, on the other hand, require a longer work history before you can apply for them. The amount of work required varies with your age, but, generally, you need five years of work for a 30-year-old up to 20 years of work as you near retirement age.
The interplay of SSDI benefits and workers’ compensation is important for many disabled workers, as around a fifth of all SSDI beneficiaries also receive workers’ compensation or another source of public disability benefits. On Wednesday and Friday of this week, we will discuss how other disability benefits like workers’ compensation impact the total amount of SSDI benefits you can receive.
Have you received workers’ comp or SSDI benefits? How important were these programs to you and your family while you were unable to work?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers