Know the Possibilities: How to Get the Most Out of Your Work Benefits

September 7th, 2018 | by Anica O
Know the Possibilities: How to Get the Most Out of Your Work Benefits

When an injury or illness prevents you from working, you need financial support. Most Americans can only maintain their lifestyles for a few months or less without suffering dire consequences. With the majority of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, lost time at work often leads to high-interest debt and unpaid bills. Even in two-income families, the inability to work can create extreme hardship.

Most Americans are eligible for some form of financial support while unable to work. These benefits are provided through both employer-based insurance and government social-security programs. If you are too injured or ill to work, here are four benefits that can keep you solvent:

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers employees who injured or made ill on the job. Typical cases involve injuries like a construction worker falling at a building site or a delivery driver injured in an auto accident. Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow and Nelson, P.S., a workers’ compensation law firm in Yakima, Washington, explains that all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover all medical expenses, including ongoing therapy for severe or chronic injuries and illnesses. The insurance also covers all lost wages and benefits. In addition, there is compensation for pain and suffering and other damages. In cases where the worker cannot return to work, permanent disability benefits may be paid.

Temporary Disability

Many employers provide temporary disability benefits to employees. Where workers’ compensation covers on-the-job injuries, temporary disability covers off-the-job injuries and illness. For example, if you were injured in a fall at home or became severely ill and needed hospitalization, your temporary disability policy would pay your salary while you remain unable to work. Temporary disability is usually limited to 6 months.

Permanent Disability

When temporary disability expires, permanent disability kicks in. This benefit pays your salary for as long as you are unable to work, usually up to the age of 65. These policies define inability to work as being unable to work in your own occupation. This differs from Social Security Disability Insurance, which pays only when you are unable to work in any occupation.

Social Security Disability Insurance (Ssdi)

Ssdi benefits begin after six months of total disability. To qualify, you must have lost the ability to work in any occupation because of a qualified injury or illness. According to Find Law, in some cases, you can collect SSDI while receiving workers’ compensation. For short- and long-term disability, the benefit amount is reduced by any SSDI collected.

Many people ensure they have adequate life insurance coverage but put little thought into disability. This is harmful because the chances of becoming disabled before retirement age are three times more likely than dying. All workers should review the disability benefits available to them.