Should I File for Workers’ Compensation or Disability in Massachusetts?
If you’ve recently been injured at work in Massachusetts, you may be unsure how to proceed. Should you file for Workers’ Compensation or disability? Learning about the differences between these two types of benefits, and hiring a lawyer, can help you decide.
In Massachusetts, Workers’ Compensation benefits are reserved for victims of work-related incidents. In contrast, disability benefits are available to any qualifying individual who sustained injuries at work or elsewhere. Massachusetts workers will likely receive payments differently, depending on whether they choose to file for Workers’ Compensation or disability. If you qualify for both types of benefits, you are not restricted to filing for just one. That being said, it’s wise to file for Workers’ Compensation first before turning to Massachusetts’ disability benefits.
Our lawyers are dedicated to helping injured Massachusetts workers get the compensation they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Boston workplace injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call today at (617) 925-6407.
What is the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Disability?
After sustaining a work-related injury, you’ll likely require compensatory damages to help you heal and cover your expenses. If you live in Massachusetts, you might be weighing the pros and cons of filing for Workers’ Compensation or disability benefits. To help inform your decision, you need to know the difference between these two types of benefits.
The main difference between Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits in Massachusetts is where a victim sustained their injuries. If you were injured at work as a result of an employer’s negligence, you would likely file a Workers’ Compensation claim for benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits only apply to victims who sustained their injuries at work.
Massachusetts disability benefits, Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, are available to individuals who did not sustain a work-related injury but can’t earn an income because of their injuries. For example, suppose you were injured outside of work, but your injuries prevent you from doing your previous job and earning wages. In that case, you would likely file for disability benefits in Massachusetts and not Workers’ Compensation.
Can You File for Workers’ Compensation and Disability in Massachusetts?
Suppose you were recently injured in a work-related incident in Massachusetts and need substantial compensatory damages. In that case, you may wonder whether or not you can qualify for both Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits. In Massachusetts, injured workers often can.
The injuries resulting from some work-related accidents can be life-altering for Massachusetts workers. While you may have filed a successful Workers’ Compensation claim, you might still need additional financial support. This can be especially true if you need future medical treatment, or remain unable to work. If this applies to you, you should speak to a Massachusetts personal injury attorney right away. You may also qualify for SSDI benefits in addition to your Workers’ Compensation settlement.
While injured workers aren’t barred from receiving SSDI benefits after filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in Massachusetts, they must meet certain criteria. To receive Social Security Disability Income, workers have to have paid into the system. Each time you receive a paycheck, your employer deducts Social Security. This qualifies you for SSDI benefits.
There are additional requirements you must meet if you plan to file for SSDI benefits in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits in Massachusetts. For example, if you have a job, your average monthly earnings must in less than $1,350 in most cases.
Additionally, your injuries must be severe and prevent you from doing your previous job or earning a sufficient income. For more insight into whether or not your injuries qualify you for SSDI benefits, consult with a Framingham, MA workers’ compensation lawyer. While you may qualify for SSDI, receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits can impact the amount in disability benefits you receive in some cases.
It’s important to note that SSDI benefits are generally for Massachusetts residents with long-term disabilities. If your injuries are temporary, you may not qualify for disability in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits.
What Happens After You File for Workers’ Compensation or Disability?
After you file for Workers’ Compensation or disability, and receive a settlement or are approved for benefits, what happens next? Workers’ Compensation insurance companies and state-affiliated disability programs often pay victims differently, which is something to keep in mind.
When your Cambridge workplace injury lawyer helps you file a Workers’ Compensation claim, and it’s approved, you will receive a lump sum settlement of one of two types. For example, your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company may pay you a lump-sum settlement with liability. This settlement type compensates victims for current and future medical bills and lost wages. A lump-sum settlement without liability will compensate you for current expenses only.
Injured Massachusetts workers eligible for SSDI benefits will receive payments a bit differently. Instead of calculating the cost of injury and liability, like Workers’ Compensation insurance companies, SSDI determination is based on work credits and disability. Once approved, injured Massachusetts residents will generally receive monthly payments of the same amount.
Should You File for Workers’ Compensation Before Filing for Disability in Massachusetts?
After a work-related injury, it’s important to hire a lawyer so that you take the right steps. While you might qualify for both Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits, your attorney can help you learn which benefits you should file for first.
Suppose you’re injured in an incident at work. In that case, you should almost always file a Workers’ Compensation claim before filing for disability. Your Wakefield workplace injury lawyer can negotiate a lump sum settlement that suits your needs so that you can recover the compensatory damages you deserve.
Generally speaking, successful Workers’ Compensation settlements are generally larger than monthly payments for SSDI benefits in Massachusetts. It’s best to focus on filing a Workers’ Compensation claim and recovering sufficient damages than depending on receiving disability benefits. However, if your Workers’ Compensation claim is denied, your attorney may advise to file for SSDI benefits.
Call Our Massachusetts Attorneys to File for Workers’ Compensation and Disability
If you’re unsure whether to file for Workers’ Compensation or disability after sustaining injuries in Massachusetts, reach out to our attorneys. For a free case evaluation with the Somerville workplace injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call today at (617) 925-6407.