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Workers' comp and disability: can I receive both benefits?

If you suffer an injury because of the work you do, the first question you may ask is probably, "Will I receive workers' compensation benefits?" This is a good question to ask, especially because workers' comp helps cover lost wages as well as the cost of hospital bills and medical treatments.

But if your injury is incredibly serious and you are left disabled because of it, you may have deeper concerns than the average injured worker. You may have concerns about your workers' comp coverage and whether it will be enough to cover your more extensive medical needs. You may also wonder if you will be able to collect workers' comp for as long as you need it to last. In the end, you may be left asking:

Can I receive both disability and workers' comp benefits?

The answer to this question is: yes, you can receive disability benefits and workers' comp at the same time. Disability benefits may come from private sources, such as an insurance policy, a private pension or from a federal benefits program like Social Security Disability Insurance.

It's important to know that while the amount you receive in disability benefits is affected by workers' comp, the same is not true in reverse. Whether you are receiving additional disability benefits from another source or not, you will typically receive:

  • 70 percent of your lost wages
  • Coverage for any necessary medical treatments
  • Coverage for bills accrued because of hospital stays or doctor's visits

When to involve a lawyer

Though obtaining a lawyer immediately following a work-related injury is not completely necessary, it may become necessary to involve an attorney if you are receiving pushback from your employer, such as if you are being told that your medical costs and lost wages are not covered. In some cases, your employer may even try to lie to you and say that because you were partially at fault for your injuries, you will not receive coverage.

In these situations and more, obtaining a lawyer may become a necessity in order to retrieve the benefits you are owed by New Jersey law.

Sources: The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "Injured Workers FAQ," Accessed Feb. 26, 2016

The Social Security Administration, "How Workers’ Compensation And Other Disability Payments May

Affect Your Benefits," Accessed Feb. 26, 2016

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