If you were injured on the job and can no longer work, the New York workers’ compensation program and the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program each are available to provide benefits. It is possible to receive benefits from both programs at the same time, but the total amount of benefits you receive cannot equal more than 80 percent of the wage you were earning when you worked. An experienced New York workers’ comp and Social Security Disability attorney can help you understand if you’re eligible to obtain compensation through these programs and can provide services to assist you with the process of applying for them.
Most private employers and nonprofit organizations with one or more employees are required to obtain New York workers’ compensation insurance, which is a policy that provides coverage for lost wages and medical treatment of injuries and illnesses occurring at the workplace. It can also provide a death benefit for family members if a worker dies of a job-related illness or injury.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage of medical expenses related to the work-related injury, including medical care, dental care, surgery, optometry care, prescription medication, and assistive devices necessary to accommodate the condition, such as a wheelchair or crutches.
Claimants can also receive wage loss benefits if the condition prevents them from working for at least seven days. If the condition prevents the claimant from working for at least 14 days, they are eligible for coverage of the first seven days’ wage loss as well. Claimants can also receive benefits if they are able to work, but their disabling condition requires them to perform a lower-paying position, or to work fewer hours.
If an individual is killed as a result of an on-the-job accident, their family members are eligible for weekly cash benefits equaling two-thirds of the workers’ average wage through the most recent 12 months of work. Additionally, workers’ comp provides a benefit of up to $12,500 (depending on the county where the injury occurred) for funeral and burial or cremation expenses.
In order to obtain Social Security Disability, the worker must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security for the required number of quarters throughout their work history and must have a condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. In order to be considered a disability, the condition must have substantially impaired the individual’s ability to work for at least 12 months, including impairing their ability to do basic work tasks including standing, sitting, lifting, walking, and remembering.
There is a list of disabling conditions for which the claimant is presumptively eligible for benefits and also a determination process for other conditions that includes considering whether the applicant was able to perform the skills required for the position before the injury or illness occurred, as well as their ability to perform work tasks needed for job positions.
Social Security Disability Insurance provides wage loss benefits, with the amount of money available being determined based on your age, income, and years worked at the time when the disabling condition occurred. On average, recipients receive about 40 percent of what they made before they became disabled.
While no medical coverage is available immediately through Social Security Disability, the claimant may be eligible for Medicare after two years. The Social Security Administration will send information about Medicare and instructions for the claimant when they become eligible.
In some circumstances, there are benefits available for the family members of an individual receiving Social Security Disability income to account for the loss of income resulting from the household’s primary wage earner’s disability. These benefits include health care through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as financial assistance available for minor children.
Workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from the first day of their employment and must wait until they have suffered a disabling condition for at least 12 months before seeking Social Security Disability benefits. However, claimants can receive benefits from both programs at the same time. However, the combination of the two types of benefits cannot equal more than 80 percent of the claimants’ average weekly wage that they earned in the last year before the condition occurred. An experienced New York workers’ comp and Social Security Disability attorney can assist claimants in applying for and receiving the maximum amount of wage-loss benefits that are available to them.
Let us help you explore your options for benefits through each of these programs. Our skilled workers’ comp and Social Security Disability lawyers will develop a strategy for obtaining the compensation you need. Contact us for a free case evaluation.