When you are unable to work due to injury or illness, there are two main forms of compensation to you, Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability. Workers Comp is a form of insurance paid by your employer and is administered by the State of Connecticut. Social Security is administered by the US government and is funded by Social Security taxes you and your employer have paid.
There are some similarities between the two programs and some important distinctions for each. It is important to understand the differences in the programs before applying for each. Social Security is normally for long term or permanent disabilities. Workers comp can be paid for either a short or long term absence from work.
Nearly all employers in the state are required to carry workers' compensation coverage. To be eligible for disability benefits, you must have been unable to work for a minimum of three days.
To be eligible for Social Security, you must have a minimum amount of work credits from past work. The past work credits for eligibility can come from any past employment, not just your current employer. The disability must have lasted one year or is expected to last at least one year.
In a workers compensation claim, the injury must have occurred "during the course of your employment". If a disease is preventing you from working, the disease must have been contracted by your employment, i.e. an occupational disease.
In Social Security, it doesn't matter how the injury occurred or the disease was contracted. It only matters that you are disabled.
Workers' compensation will pay for wage replacement benefits if you cannot perform your usual duties for your employer. However, an employer can request that you perform lesser tasks if you are physically able to do so. Workers comp provides for temporary total disability, temporary partial, permanent total, and permanent partial benefits.
The Social Security standard of disability is stricter. Not only must the disability prevent duties of your present employer, but any past work you have engaged in. Finally, after considering your injury, there must be no job available that you can perform that exists in the national economy. Whether you can perform another job is based on your disability, your age, education, past work experience, and training.
Wage replacement benefits under workers' compensation are calculated based on a percentage of your weekly wage. Social Security disability benefits are based on the amount paid into the program through employment taxes.
Workers' compensation benefits include payment of medical expenses for injuries related to work. If a person is eligible for Social Security disability, you are entitled to apply for Medicare coverage.
If you are unable to work due to a disability, discuss your rights with a Connecticut attorney with experience in both programs. Carter Mario has extensive experience in obtaining fair compensation for injured workers and can explain your rights through a case evaluation. Our representatives are available 24/7 to help with your needs.