Workers in California who get injured on the job may qualify for certain benefits, such as workers’ compensation, Social Security disability and state disability. However, these benefits are not the same, and many people get confused over them. It helps to understand the differences between the programs.

What’s the difference between workers comp and disability?

Employers provide workers’ compensation to injured workers to avoid court litigation. In many states, businesses must offer these benefits to employees. A person may qualify for state disability benefits for a non-work-related injury that prevents them from doing their job. They often receive state benefits if the benefits exceed what they would get from workers’ compensation.

If workers’ comp benefits are in dispute, the employee could receive state benefits in the meantime at a maximum of 52 weeks. However, the state benefits need to be paid back once the dispute gets resolved and the worker qualifies for workers’ compensation.

Can employees draw SSDI and workers’ comp benefits together?

Depending on the circumstance, a worker may be able to draw state benefits and worker’s compensation together. Employees who have paid enough into the Social Security program should be able to draw both. However, the SSDI could be received in a lower amount.

Can employees get workers’ comp and unemployment together?

It is highly unlikely that a worker can get unemployment and workers’ compensation for temporary disability at the same time. They could receive them in the case that the doctor declares the condition permanent and the employer has no work for the employee. The employee must not be able to find a job at the time and be willing to find one. Unemployment benefits commonly last six months.

The process of applying for workers’ comp can be complex, especially for people who are living with an injury or illness. A workers comp’ lawyer may be able to make the process easier.