After sustaining a work injury or getting an occupational illness that forces you to skip work, you may have some concerns about income and paying your bills. In this case, you can choose from two options: workers’ compensation and short-term disability.
They are two entirely different benefits some companies offer their employees. They aim at cushioning the employee from the financial burden they could potentially have to deal with in the event of an accident or illness.
Most people often view the two policies as interchangeable when that is not the case. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the two and the purposes they serve.
What is Short Term Disability and How does it Differ From Workers’ Compensation?
A short-term disability refers to an employee benefits employers provide out of their own volition. In most cases, the employee pays for part or the entire benefit. Short-term disabilities are tailored to cover employees who suffer illnesses or injuries not related to work.
With a short-term disability, employees receive income replacement when they cannot work due to treatment or recovery. The short-term disability benefits come from the insurance company providing coverage under the employee benefit plan offered by the company.
On the other hand, workers’ compensation benefits apply to employees who sustain injuries while at work. They also apply to workers who develop illnesses or diseases from their employment. Unlike short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation plans are not voluntary. Any employer with three or more workers must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
Below are some of the other differences between the two:
- Short-term disability pays a lower percentage of your salary as compared to a workers’ compensation policy.
- Short-term disability benefits may be taxable based on the plan, while workers’ compensation benefits cannot be taxed.
- With workers’ compensation plans, you can get wage loss benefits covering as much as 500 weeks. The amount could be more than 500 weeks if you qualify for total and permanent disability. Most short-term disability benefits cover only a couple of weeks.
- You will have an easier time litigating workers’ compensation denials as compared to short-term disability benefits.
When talking about actual benefits, you are better off with workers’ compensation. However, not everyone qualifies for a workers’ compensation policy. If you are, you may have to work with Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to litigate your claim to get the wage loss, permanent partial disability, and medical treatment benefits you rightfully deserve.
Can You Get Both Workers’ Compensation and Short Term Disability Benefits?
In most cases, you cannot get the two simultaneously. However, there are some exceptions. Talk to Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to get more details about your short-term disability benefits if you feel you are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for the same illness or injury.
If you do not qualify for both, apply for workers’ comp benefits if your injuries or illness-related to your work environment. If you have injuries that may cause you to miss work even though you did not sustain them at work, the best option would be short-term disability benefits.