What Disability Program Do I Qualify for After My Work-Related Injury?

Worker’s compensation is a lifesaver when it comes to accidents that occur when on the clock. You may have been doing all you can to follow safety protocols, yet, conditions simply did not work in your favor. These suboptimal work conditions may have resulted in your becoming injured, regardless of your precautions. Instead of having to accept the loss of work as a result of your injuries, and therefore the loss of income, you are eligible to receive financial support from your employer’s insurance provider. After your work-related injury, there are several disability insurance programs that you may be eligible for to off-set the financial hardships. There are a few key details to be aware of when seeking compensation for your work-related injuries.

What to Know About Worker’s Compensation

Before you begin considering the types of disability programs available to you, be aware that the time required for qualification may vary. This is due to several different factors that may or may not contribute to the severity of your condition. For example, if your injury resulted in a lasting medical condition, you may have to endure many more complexities and steps of the legal process before reaching a settlement. Short-term illnesses or conditions are likely to proceed much more quickly and may be much more straightforward to address for the insurance provider.

Additionally, you must first ensure that you are eligible for receiving disability benefits. If you meet the following criteria, then you can pursue compensation for your injuries:

  • Your employer is enrolled in a worker’s compensation insurance program.
  • You are an eligible employee (check your employer’s policies).
  • The injury or illness is covered by the worker’s compensation program.
  • Your worker’s compensation claim is filed according to the state-specified procedures.

Once you determine your eligibility, you can then proceed with filing your claim and discover which programs apply to your circumstances.

Types of Disability Programs Available to You

There are three primary types of disability benefits you may qualify for. These are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): This program is managed by state and federal governments. It is meant to supplement the recipient’s monthly income, under the condition that they have been made to be totally impaired, physically or mentally, by their work-related injury or illness. Those who qualify are U.S. citizens that meet the federal definition of “disabled” and who have paid into the system from their wages for a certain period.
  • Private Disability Insurance (Long or Short-term): These are programs operated by private insurers. They offer benefits only to individuals who either have paid for the policy themselves or are covered by their employer. Only those who are deemed “insured persons” are eligible for this type of coverage. (This is most likely the type you will receive through worker’s compensation.)
  • VA Disability (Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Benefits): Of course, this only applies to veterans. This program is operated by the Department of Defense and is specifically meant to cover injuries, illnesses, and other conditions that are directly related to the individual’s service. Those eligible are veterans holding honorable or general discharge.

As you begin to narrow down your options for compensating your work-related injury, review your company policy and the details surrounding your injury. This will assist you in determining which program is most appropriate to support you as you wait to return to the workforce.