Maybe I Should Just File for Social Security Disability Benefits Instead? SSI Disability Benefits vs. Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Decatur
When a person is injured on the job in Decatur and files for workers’ compensation benefits, they may be surprised when their application is denied. As their case progresses through the workers’ compensation system, and Independent Medical Examinations (IME) and hearings are scheduled, a workers’ compensation case can feel like an added hurdle to a worker who has been injured and is disabled from work as a result. Due to the complexities of the workers’ compensation system in Georgia, an injured Decatur worker may find the Georgia workers’ compensation process to be frustrating, with no guarantee of benefits granted, and seemingly no end in sight. An injured Decatur worker may wonder, due to the complex nature of the Georgia workers’ compensation system, if it would be easier and better to file for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits, instead. However, misinformation, mostly on the internet and by word of mouth, tends to downplay just how difficult obtaining SSI benefits is. Here we explain why, in reality, the process of obtaining SSI benefits is typically just as complex as obtaining workers’ compensation benefits in Decatur.
SSI Explained – “Permanent Disability” and Income Threshold
Just like in the Georgia workers’ compensation system, injured individuals who seek to obtain benefits to support themselves while they are disabled must meet a number of criteria to be granted SSI benefits. First, SSI is a need-based program, so benefits are only offered to those individuals who meet the income criteria. A person must not be able to engage in work that is considered “substantial gainful activity”. Second, a person must be injured to the extent that they are disabled “permanently”, meaning that their impairment is either anticipated to last for at least 12 months or ultimately lead to death. In contrast, under Georgia workers’ compensation laws, an applicant must be an employee that is not exempt (and does not work for an exempt employer) in order to obtain Decatur workers’ compensation benefits. However, an injured worker need not be “permanently” disabled and without income in order to be entitled to Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, under Georgia workers’ compensation laws, a Decatur worker can file for temporary partial disability benefits, which entitles the worker to workers’ compensation benefits when they are able to resume work, but are unable to perform work at the same level as before, and, as a result, get paid less.
Help with Your Decatur Workers’ Compensation Claim
There is no doubt that the Georgia workers’ compensation system can leave injured workers feeling confused and frustrated. However, there are options for help. In Decatur, the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the O’Connell Law Firm help injured workers get Georgia workers’ compensation benefits due. The experienced Decatur workers’ compensation lawyers at the O’Connell Law Firm offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help you get Decatur workers’ compensation benefits due to you. Contact the O’Connell Law Firm today and speak with an experienced Decatur workers’ compensation lawyer about your case for free.