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What is the difference between workers' compensation and SSDI?

It can be very traumatic when Georgia residents suffer a serious injury. The injury can affect many different aspects of a person's life, including their home life and work life. While this is true no matter where the injury occurs, the aftermath of the injury can become even more complex when the injury itself is suffered in a work accident.

Individuals may be entitled to different kinds of benefits when the injury is suffered at work. Namely, workers' compensation benefits may be triggered after a work accident, as well as Social Security disability benefits. These two programs are the largest disability benefit programs in the country. However, the programs differ in many facets.

For instance, a person is eligible for workers' compensation benefits on the first day of work, while a person has to have a work history in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The coverage also varies between the programs, as Social Security disability benefits are paid to individuals with long-term impairments that preclude gainful work, as opposed to workers' compensation, which applies to both short-term and long-term disabilities. The severity level of the injury also differs between the two programs, as does the coverage determination based on where the injury was suffered.

Ultimately, individuals who suffer an injury that precludes them from working should understand their potential eligibility for both programs. By satisfying the requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance, in addition to workers' compensation, individuals can best protect themselves and get the financial help they desperately need in the wake of a serious injury.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Workers' compensation, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the Offset: A Fact Sheet," accessed on May 29, 2015

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