One type of safety net program covers injuries and illnesses at work, while the second type of safety net program covers injuries and illnesses that happen at work or outside of work. Welcome to the differences between workers’ comp and disability insurance.
An Overview of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation represents a form of insurance that is paid for by your employer. The key is you have to suffer an injury or injuries while on the job. For example, a heavy box that falls from a shelf onto your left foot at work can lead to a workers’ compensation claim. However, a similar heavy box that falls on your foot while you shop at a grocery store does not qualify you for workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp takes care of the medical expenses that are directly associated with an illness or injury. The employer-funded insurance program also covers a percentage of the wages lost because of missed time from work. If you suffered a serious injury that prevents you from returning to your previous job, then workers’ compensation might cover the cost of retraining you or training you for a different position within the same company.
An Overview of Disability Insurance
Disability insurance also replaces a percentage of the wages lost because of an injury or an illness from an incident that happened in the workplace or outside the workplace. Many employers offer short-term disability insurance, while some employers offer long-term disability. Short-term disability benefits typically last a few weeks up to no more than one year. Long-term disability replaces lost wages for a longer period. It should be noted that disability insurance does not cover medical bills or provide long-term care services.
What are the Differences Between Workers’ Comp and Disability Insurance?
There are two significant differences between disability and workers’ compensation insurance. Disability insurance does not cover medical bills, while workers’ compensation takes care of the medical expenses associated with a work-related injury. The second major difference involves the location where an injury takes place. Workers’ comp covers work-related illnesses and injuries, while disability insurance covers both work-related and non-work-related illnesses and injuries. Employees that receive compensation for a work-related injury or illness usually have not received a disability diagnosis.
Limitations of Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance
Both safety net programs have limitations. Neither program covers the entire salary or weekly wages of a sick or injured claimant. Some disability insurance claims pay less than 50 percent of what an applicant earns. Workers’ compensation cases often require extensive evidence for a claim to receive approval. Disability insurance policyholders have to pay a higher premium to receive long-term coverage.
Employees that file a workers’ compensation claim must report the injury to their employer within a designated period. Failing to meet the reporting deadline can cost an applicant financial assistance. An employer is legally responsible for giving a claim form to an employee filing a workers’ comp claim. Employers arrange medical care by referring to the guidelines established by the workers’ compensation insurance program. Disability claims also go through employers, but insurance companies pay out financial assistance.
If you suffered an injury at work, you might be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. The team of workers’ comp attorneys at the PLBSH Law Firm can guide you through the processes involved in filing a workers’ comp disability claim.
Contact our office at (800) 435-7542 to learn more about the differences between workers’ comp and disability insurance.