What is a social disability?

Social Security disability law benefits are monthly payments that help people who become too disabled to work.

Anyone can become disabled temporarily or permanently. In fact, many experts believe that Americans in their twenties now have about a 30% chance of suffering a disabling illness serious enough to cause at least three months of lost work before retirement. Yet, despite the significant risk of disability, most Americans do not have short-term or long-term disability insurance.

What can you do if you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working? One option is to apply for monthly disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, which also provides retirement benefits to the elderly. However, it can be difficult to qualify for disability benefits from Social Security, and the bar is very high.


Proof of eligibility

  •         SSDI candidates must first establish a sufficient and recent work history to qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration uses a credit system to determine eligibility for benefits. In 2014, one worker earned credit for every $ 1,220 in salary or self-employment income, up to a maximum of four credits for the year. An annual income of $ 4,880 satisfies all the credit requirements for one year.
  •         Most disability claimants require 20 to 40 credits, or 5 to 10 full years of work, to qualify for benefits, with at least 20 credits earned in the ten years immediately preceding the disability. The total number of credits required varies with age, with workers aged 31 to 42 require at least 20 credits; those aged 43 to 62 who need additional credit for each year of age; and those aged 62 and over who need 40 credits. Nearly 80% of SSDI recipients are 45 years of age or older. Special exceptions exist for workers who become disabled before the age of 31 years. In general, these people need several credits equal to the age difference between the beginning of their disability and twenty-one multiplied by two. For example, if a worker becomes disabled at age 28, he or she needs 14 credits ([28 – 21] * 2) to qualify for disability benefits.
  •         Determination of disability. If an applicant meets the disability Insurance work history requirements, then he or she enters the five-step disability determination process to determine if he or she is eligible to receive benefits.
  •         To meet the legal definition of disability, the claimant “shall not be able to engage in any significant gainful activity because of a physical or mental impairment that may be determined by a physician and likely to result in death, or that lasts for a long time or is planned to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
  •         The initial application is processed by the regional disability assessment offices (DDS) in each state.


What is workers’ compensation?

Worker’s Compensation is insurance provided by companies to provide benefits to employees who become sick or injured on the job. Through this program, workers receive benefits and medical care, and employers are assured that they will not be sued by the employee (in most cases).

Fundamentally, companies contribute to workers’ compensation funds (federal and state), just like other types of insurance. Then, benefits are paid to workers who become sick or injured on the job. Payment of pain, suffering, and negligence claims are not included in workers’ compensation. Details of workers’ compensation as explained below vary from state to state;


Workers’ Compensation is mandatory for all employers.

This statement is essentially true, but the level and type of coverage are different for each state. The states differ by:

  •         Who are the employees covered
  •         Types of injuries covered and evidence
  •         Injury excluded
  •         Limitation period (the length of time an employee must file a claim)
  •         Employer’s defenses against claims, including self-inflicted injury, willful misconduct, and drug/alcohol-related injuries.

Employers can self-insure for workplace accidents, provided their policy meets regulatory minimums. Most companies choose to be part of the workers’ compensation program in their state.


Worker’s Compensation provides security against long-term illnesses, injuries & other related circumstances.

Workers’ compensation payments help workers replace their wages, pay for medical treatment, and set up vocational rehabilitation programs to help them get back to work. Death benefits are also paid.

Some workplace injuries can occur over time or the long term; repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel, for example. Diseases caused by exposure to a work environment, such as the black lung, are also considered work-related and are compensated.


Employers pay workers’ compensation to a public fund.

As noted above, workers’ compensation programs are administered on a case-by-case basis. The federal government administers separate worker compensation programs for specific groups, including federal employees, coastal workers, and coal miners. Employees do not contribute to workers’ compensation premiums.

The cost of workers’ compensation benefits is based on the gross payroll as well as the number and severity of illnesses and injuries experienced by this type of employer. For example, a manufacturing company would have higher worker compensation costs than a professional practice.


Employees may be able to sue an employer for employment injuries.

Although workers’ compensation payments exclude employee actions against employers, there are certain circumstances in which an employee may still sue their employer for an injury or illness at work, for a variety of reasons, including:

  •         If the employer, or purposefully inflicted the injury
  •         If the injury was outside the scope of the worker’s work.


Some occupational injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation.

In addition, certain occupational injuries do not fall under the worker’s compensation, and the worker’s compensation does not compensate for the injury or the sickness:

  •         If the injury was self-inflicted,
  •         If the injury occurred while committing a crime,
  •         If the employee has violated the company’s policy, or
  •         If the employee was not at work when the event occurred.


Differences between social disability & workers’ compensation insurance

The main difference between social disability and workers’ compensation is that worker’s compensation caters for work-related injuries. Employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover incidents at work. If a worker is injured at work, the employer must pay the

medical bills and lose the lost wages. Employees who receive workers’ compensation payments do not usually have a disability, but rather a temporary injury on the job.

Social disability insurance, on the other hand, pays a portion of a worker’s income if he or she cannot perform work-related tasks because of illness or injury. Unlike worker’s compensation insurance, an employee pays an insurance premium for disability insurance through an employer-sponsored benefits plan.


When both social disability & workers’ compensation insurance can be implemented

Disability and Workers Compensation provide monetary payments to employees who are injured or sick. Disability and workers’ compensation benefits vary by state and by profession. Benefits usually pay part of the salary until the worker can return to work. In most cases, neither disability nor workers’ compensation is used to pay for intentional or self-inflicted injuries.


Limitations of both social disability & workers’ compensation insurance

Disability and workers’ compensation schemes both have limitations. Workers who are absent due to injury or illness, whether related to work or otherwise, do not receive full pay In some cases, disability insurance benefits pay less than 50% of the worker’s salary. In addition, workers must pay an additional premium to cover possible long-term injury or illness.


Savino Smollar Workers Comp, Injury & SSD Law 60 Bay Street #703 Staten Island, NY 10301 (718) 448-8121 https://www.statenislandinjuryaccident.com/