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Social Security Disability and worker's compensation benefits

Workers in the construction industry face the risk of a serious on-the-job injury. Employers have obligations and best practices to follow in order to keep their employees safe, but there are no 100 percent guarantees against a work-related accident.

When a worker's injuries lead to a disability, there are different types of benefits potentially available. These include workers' compensation and Social Security Disability. Just what, our readers may wonder, is the difference between workers' compensation and Social Security Disability? What are you eligible and ineligible for under these two different systems?

To quickly recap workers' compensation: These benefits come from your employer's insurance policy, which they are required by law to carry. If you are disabled in a workplace accident, temporary disability benefits may be available under workers' compensation. Should your disability become permanent, your disability benefits will likewise become permanent and workers' compensation will also provide for your medical expenses for the rest of your life.

Social Security Disability benefits come from a federal agency, the Social Security Administration. Disabled workers may apply for benefits if they expect the disability to last for more than one year or if they have an illness considered to be terminal. They must also have paid into the Social Security system enough to be covered. If these conditions are met, workers may receive SSDI benefits even in addition to workers' compensation disability benefits, although there may be a reduction to SSDI in this scenario.

These overlapping benefits can provide much-needed compensation for workers suffering from a disabling workplace injury. However, overlapping local and federal systems like these can provide all too many opportunities for procedural denials or workers "slipping through the cracks." A workers' compensation attorney can help guide workers through these systems and stand up for their rights.

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