Each year, countless workers are forced to take time off of work in order to battle an illness or to recuperate from injuries they’ve suffered. Fortunately, there are two different types of compensation claims that individuals can file to either cover their medical bills or lost wages. Which one you qualify for greatly depends on whether your injury is work-related or not.

In most cases, if you suffered a work-related injury, then you’ll likely qualify for workers’ compensation (WC) benefits that your employer is legally mandated to provide. If you’re suffering from either an illness or injury that either didn’t happen at or wasn’t caused by your job, then you may be eligible to file a claim for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) instead.

You may be eligible for both WC and SSDI though. This often happens when an individual gets hurt on the job and becomes permanently disabled as a result. If SSDI benefits that stood to be paid out exceeded the WC benefits, then you may be eligible for disability benefits instead. You may also be allowed to collect SSDI if your employer disputes your WC claim.

One other fundamental difference in eligibility criteria between SSDI and WC relates to how injuries are classified.

Workers’ compensation is intended to cover the recipient temporarily while he or she is recovering from his or her illness or injuries. It’s intended to last no more than a year. Social Security Disability insurance, in contrast, covers individuals with either mental or physical impairments that are expected to linger for more than a year. That illness or injury must inhibit the recipient from performing any type of labor.

While, in most cases, a recipient receives either WC or SSDI, it’s possible for someone to receive both. If you do, then the amount you receive from WC will be deducted from the SSDI amount you’re eligible to receive.

If you’re disabled and are having difficulty navigating the myriad benefits available, then a Trenton attorney can counsel you as to the appropriate one for you.