Q&A with Dean Dominick: Eligibility for Additional Benefits While Filing for Workers’ Compensation

The unthinkable has happened – you have been injured on the job and cannot continue working. Now what? Filing for workers’ compensation is the first step. In addition to workers’ compensation, there are other benefits that may be able to help you financially. However, it is important to know your eligibility and how it may affect your workers’ compensation case.

Dean Dominick, one of KBG’s certified workers’ compensation specialists, talks about the additional benefits you may be eligible for with workers’ compensation.

Does applying for workers’ compensation disqualify me from other benefits?

No. In Pennsylvania, applying for workers’ compensation does not disqualify you or negatively impact your chances of receiving additional benefits. However, in some cases, if you receive additional benefits, your workers’ compensation or other benefits will be reduced.

Of course each case is different so we always recommend speaking with a qualified lawyer to ensure your eligibility.

How does workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits work together?

The qualifications for workers’ compensation and Social Security are quite different but if you qualify for both, you may be eligible to receive both benefits simultaneously. Typically, workers’ compensation is designed for temporary support after suffering an injury, while Social Security disability benefits are for those who have a severe, long-term, total disability resulting in individuals not being able to work. For instance, you slipped and fell at work resulting in a back injury. After time, the injury progressed and you can no longer work.

However, it is important to note that the total income you receive from workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits cannot be more than 80% off your previous income. Your Social Security benefits will be reduced until you reach the 80% threshold.

Can I receive unemployment benefits if I receive workers’ compensation?

Yes. The workers’ compensation law does not prohibit the receipt of unemployment compensation benefits during the same period of receiving workers’ compensation. You are eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits from workers’ compensation as long as the healthcare provider notes you are unable to return to work, or are able to return to work with restrictions but your employer is unable or unwilling to accommodate your restrictions. You are not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits if your doctor has you off of work completely as you must be able and available for work. You can, however, receive unemployment compensation benefits even if you have restrictions. It is important to mention, though, that your workers’ compensation payments will be reduced by the net amount of the unemployment compensation benefits, you receive for the same period.

In Pennsylvania, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation to cover injured employees. If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, it’s essential to reach out to a certified workers’ compensation specialist for representation.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact KBG today to get the Results You Deserve®.