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What Is the Difference Between Disability and Workers’ Compensation?

Injured and unable to return to work? We can help you determine who is responsible for shouldering the costs.

missouri worker with broken arm

When you are injured and either sustain acute injuries or permanent ones that make it impossible for you to perform in your normal capacity going forward, there are specific types of benefits that you may be entitled to.

There are many different ways that you can make a claim to recover compensation for your injuries, whether on the job or not. Three various programs, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability insurance, and state disability benefits, may kick in to help you if you are no longer able to care for your expenses, or yourself, in the future.

There are, however, differences regarding who is eligible for these various programs. What you were doing when you were injured, the kind of injury you sustain, and the way that it impacts your life going forward, are all factors used to determine which program, if any, you are entitled to.

Disability Benefits vs. Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation is an insurance coverage that an employer has to take out to cover an employee, should they be injured while on the job. In Missouri, an employer generally has to have workers’ compensation insurance if they employ more than five employees. You are only entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your injury was a result of your employment. Simply being at work does not qualify you.

State disability is different from workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured while you are away from work, and can no longer perform in your previous capacity, then you may qualify to collect disability weekly for the time you lost due to your injury or illness. The difference between state disability and workers’ compensation is that if you are injured while acting according to your job responsibilities, then your employer is responsible and workers’ compensation pays. If you are injured outside of your job, then it would befall the state to pay benefits. State paid benefits are not paid by the employer.

Workers’ compensation benefits are also temporary. If there comes a time when you are no longer able to work in the same capacity, state disability would likely kick in to help you maintain a source of income. State disability is limited to a minimum of fifty-two weeks, however, and then you would have to collect social security disability.

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St. Louis Work Injury Attorneys

If you are injured either while on the job or not, it is imperative that you seek the help of a professional St. Louis work injury attorney to determine who is at fault and who is responsible for shouldering the costs. Give us a call today at (314) 361-4300 for a free case evaluation.

Updated: May 19, 2017