SSDI, LTD, workers' comp -- who qualifies for which benefits?

Many California workers think that debilitating injuries only happen to others. However, unanticipated injuries or illnesses can befall anyone, and understanding eligibility for the different types of benefits -- SSDI, LTD and workers' compensation -- could prevent panic if it happens. However, the intricacies can be confusing and seeking professional guidance makes good sense.

Millions of workers who contributed to Social Security during their employment years will be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits along with Medicare. An application may be made for disability benefits, but requirements are strict, and most SSDI applications are denied at first, though they might be obtained upon review or appeal. Only a small percentage of employees have Long-Term Disability Insurance as an employment benefit, and LTD is otherwise obtained through a private insurer. Workers' compensation, on the other hand, is limited to victims of workplace injuries, and benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost income.

Although it might be possible to receive more than one type of benefit simultaneously, there might be offset rules at play. This means that LTD benefits might be reduced by the amount of SSDI benefits that a person receives, and the same might apply if an injured worker receives workers' compensation benefits along with LTD benefits. If for example a person gets $2,000 in LTD benefits per month and qualifies for SSDI benefits of $1,100, the LTD benefit will be lowered to $900, yielding a total of $2,000.

This often seems confusing and complicated. However, workers can discuss SSDI and other benefits with an experienced California attorney who focuses on all matters related to the California workforce, from workers' compensation and disability benefits to employee rights. The attorney can provide advocacy and representation at hearings and throughout the claims process. 

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