Most people do not understand that workers comp and disability are completely different things. Workers’ compensation is a program for people who get injured on the job. Disability is for people who get hurt in general and are unable to work anywhere at all. Both systems can be difficult to navigate. In fact, attorneys who don’t specialize in this kind of law are confused about how it works.
Here, we’ll discuss the differences between workers comp and disability. We’ll also explain how it works if you’re collecting both types of benefits.
If you have questions after reading this article, you can certainly call our workers compensation attorneys in Charlotte. Set up a date and time to come into the office. Take advantage of your free, initial consultation. This way, you’ll know where you stand and what to expect going forward.
What Is the Difference Between Workers Comp and Disability?
It can be confusing to navigate the world of workers compensation. When you add disability into the mix, it can be downright confusing. We’ve met with hundreds of clients over the years who have no idea how they’re supposed to handle being covered by both workers comp and disability.
SSDI disability benefits for people who have worked jobs covered by social security and who meet the SSA’s definition of a disability. These benefits will continue until you are no longer disabled or you turn 65.
Workers compensation is a different thing. These benefits are for workers only. If you’re disabled but didn’t get hurt at work, you don’t qualify for workers comp benefits. The reason they call it workers compensation is that, while you’re out of work recovering from your injuries, you will be compensated as if you were still working.
Benefits for Workers Comp and Disability Come from Different Places
Not only are workers comp and disability different things, but the benefits for each are paid out by different people. Disability benefits are administered through the federal Social Security Administration, although the government of North Carolina controls disability determination and how much you receive.
Workers compensation benefits, on the other hand, are paid through your employer’s insurance carrier.
Not only do the two types of benefits come from different people, but they are also different types of benefits. Under workers compensation, you receive not only weekly replacement wages, but you also receive medical care. The medical treatment needed to take care of your workplace injuries is covered by your employer’s insurance company.
When you are receiving disability benefits, you only receive monthly payments. Disability does not cover your medical care. You also don’t receive checks every week. Instead, you get paid once per month.
There Is a Limit to How Much You Can Receive
Regardless of which program you are under, there is a cap on how much you can receive per month. If you’re out on workers compensation in North Carolina, you will receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. This means that, if you were used to making $1,000 per week, you will receive weekly benefits in the amount of $666. If you made $1,500, you’ll receive $1,000 per week.
It’s important to understand that there is a limit to how much you can receive each week. Under North Carolina law, the most you can receive each week under workers compensation is $1,102. This means that people who normally earn more than $1,650 per month will receive less than 2/3 per month.
Under disability, your benefits are calculated quite differently. The state will look at the last ten years of your work history. They will look at your best five years out of the ten total years. They will average this out and then take half of that amount. So, if you averaged $4,000 per month for the last 5 years, you’ll receive $2,000 per month. The most you can receive is $3,900 per year.
Your North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You File for Workers Comp
Knowing how complicated it can be to file for both workers comp, it’s a good idea to consult a skilled North Carolina personal injury attorney. This way, they can make sure your claim is filed properly. They can also make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
If you decide to meet with an experienced attorney, make sure to bring your employment records with you. You also want to bring your tax returns with you. Your workers compensation attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina will review your paperwork and help you figure out how much you can receive.
Our lawyers can help you file for workers’ comp and refer you to a disability attorney if you meet the criteria for disability benefits.
You Can Collect Both Workers Comp and Disability in North Carolina
A lot of our clients don’t know it, but you can actually collect both workers comp and disability benefits at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can receive in total. The way it works in North Carolina is that you will receive your normal workers comp benefits. Then your disability benefits will be calculated.
The total amount you’re allowed to receive is 80% of your average monthly wages. So, imagine that your monthly average income for the last 5 years is $4,000. When you calculate 80% of this amount, you get $3,200. This means that you are not allowed to receive more than $3,200 per month between workers comp and disability.
This is called an offset. Let’s look at the above example again. If you were making $4,000 per month, then your weekly average wages were approximately $1,000. You will receive $666 per week. This will come out to be about $2,664 per month. Since you can only receive $3,200 per month, the most you can receive from workers compensation is $536 per month.
Contact an Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney in Charlotte North Carolina
If you believe you qualify for both workers comp and disability benefits in North Carolina, you should talk to a lawyer. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury attorneys can sit you down and explain how this will work. They’ll also show you how much you can receive from workers compensation and refer you to a disability attorney if you qualify for disability benefits.
All you need to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation with our office. It is free so you have nothing to lose.