Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

The differences between workers' comp and SSDI

If you or a loved one sustains an injury on the job and cannot work, benefits may be available. Many individuals are aware of workers' compensation and SSDI. However, not everyone understands how they work separately as well as together.

Though both programs assist individuals with injuries or disabilities, they do still have their own specific functions. It is important that you understand the proper implementation of each one.

Workers' compensation

In general, workers' compensation is payment you receive if you have a work-related injury or illness. Each state has its own regulations for how workers' comp works in that state. The DI 52120.175 expressly details New York's workers' compensation requirements and applications. There are several different types of workers' compensation, and each one has its own stipulations and amounts of benefits. For example, some are on a permanent basis, while others are temporary.


Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that the Social Security Administration manages. Unlike workers' compensation, SSDI does not require that your injury occur on the job. Recipients must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from working for at least a year, or leads to death. 


You may receive one of the two benefits, or both. If you are a part of both programs, there is usually a "set off" so that the combination of the two benefits does not exceed 80 percent of your previous income. New York is a reverse set off state, which means that the workers' compensation benefits are decreased to meet the proper percentage. In the case that this does not occur, the government normally steps in and reduces the SSDI benefit to the proper level.

These are just a few of the key factors of workers' compensation and SSDI. If you are working to obtain or maintain your benefits, it is critical that you stay abreast of the requirements and regulations of the programs. 

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