Broken leg on the job why can't I apply for SSDI benefits?
Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I was working a construction job and a large pipe fell on me and left me with a broken leg. I have been told that I have to apply for workers compensation. I am wondering if I can also apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, or if the fact I am going to receive workers compensation eliminates my right to SSDI benefits? The lady in Human resources did not think I could qualify for SSDI.
Workers compensation vs. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Workers compensation is insurance which may be provided by certain employers for certain qualifying employees if the employee is injured on the job while performing their normal job duties. Although work comp policies and benefits can vary by state, in general, work comp benefits will provide short or long-term wage replacement benefits, death benefits (if applicable), and medical care.
The benefit of workers compensation, unlike filing a personal injury claim against your employer, is that you will not have to prove that your employers negligence contributed to your injuries. In fact, assuming your injury occurred while you were on the job and you were not doing something that might disqualify you for benefits (i.e., roughhousing) you should receive immediate workers compensation.
Social Security Disability Insurance and broken leg on the job
Now, you also asked about receiving SSDI benefits for your broken leg. Social Security Disability Insurance is long-term disability benefits given to injured workers who have a severe health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, does not allow them to work, and who have earned sufficient work credits to be considered insured for SSDI benefits.
Unlike workers compensation benefits, however, SSDI benefits is not provided to workers who have been temporarily injured.
So what does this mean for you? Without more information about your work history and how long your broken leg will eliminate your ability to work its impossible to say whether you will qualify for SSDI benefits.
For example, if your doctor claims that you will only be out of work for 10 months due to your broken leg or if you have not consistently worked, paid employment taxes, and generated work credits, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits regardless of the severity of your current condition.
What do you do now about your broken leg?
The first step after a broken leg work injury is to notify your employer. Next, you need to get good medical treatment. Make sure you discuss your injury with your employer and find out if you are required to get medical treatment from a specific doctor. Next, make sure you understand the work comp laws in your state and what types of benefits are provided by your employer.
Finally, if your doctor believes your condition will last 12 months or longer, you need to verify whether or not you qualify for SSDI benefits. Contact the SSA and find out if you have enough work credits for SSA. Also determine if you meet all of the other nonmedical requirements.
Finally, talk to the SSA about the work comp benefits that you will receive. They should be able to tell you whether your SSDI benefits would be offset by the work comp benefits.
Recent blog:DUI injury can I still get SSDI benefits?