Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability—How They Differ

If you have an injury or medical condition that keeps you from working and providing for your family, you may be able to get assistance. Disability programs are available to assist those in need, but you must meet certain criteria to take advantage of them. In Florida, two key programs can help you: workers’ comp and social security disability.

While you can definitely take advantage of these two programs together or separately, it pays to know how they differ to make the most out of them.

What Is Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation is a state-administered program that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who have been injured or become ill due to a work-related accident or illness. Employers are required to carry the insurance, and it is designed to help injured workers return to work as soon as possible.

What Is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program that provides benefits to individuals who can no longer work due to a medically-determined physical or mental disability. Eligibility is based on a person’s work history and contributions to Social Security and Medicare. SSD is designed to help individuals maintain an adequate standard of living if they can no longer work.

How Do They Differ?

The primary difference between workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability is that workers’ compensation is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages for workers who are injured on the job, while Social Security Disability is designed to provide benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to a medical condition.

In Florida, workers’ compensation is provided by the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. To be eligible for workers’ compensation, a person must have a work-related injury or illness that is covered by the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Injuries must be caused by accident, exposure to a hazardous substance, or an occupational disease.

In contrast, Social Security Disability is provided by the Social Security Administration. To be eligible for SSD, a person must have a disability that is expected to last at least a year or result in death. Furthermore, the individual must have worked long enough to have earned enough work credits to qualify for the disability benefit.

Another major difference between workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability is that workers’ compensation is provided on a no-fault basis, meaning that an injured worker is not required to prove that their employer was at fault for the injury in order to receive benefits. However, an individual filing for SSD must demonstrate that their disability is the result of a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from performing any substantial gainful activity.

In addition, the amount of benefits provided by workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability differs. For example, workers’ compensation benefits are typically provided on a weekly basis, and the amount of benefits depends on the worker’s salary at the time of the injury. On the other hand, Social Security Disability benefits are based on the worker’s past earnings and the type of disability they have.

Finally, workers’ compensation benefits are typically paid out for a limited period of time, while Social Security Disability benefits may be paid out for an indefinite period of time.


Now you know how they differ, the question is should you use them both? Well, it is possible to receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, but the number of benefits received from each program may be reduced. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that state laws may have specific regulations regarding the use of both types of benefits. Therefore, it is important to research the laws in your state before attempting to receive both types of benefits. We highly recommend reaching out to an attorney to assist you in making the right choices that will bring you the best compensation possible.

Avard Law is an expert in social security disability, personal injury, and various other matters to help those in need. If you are looking for a workers’ comp attorney in Florida, reach out to us today!


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