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Yes, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and you may qualify for both. But if you're getting workers’ comp, it may affect how much money you'll receive from SSDI (or vice versa).
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There are important differences between SSDI, a federal benefit funded by Social Security taxes, and workers’ comp coverage, which is paid for almost exclusively by employers and generally governed by state laws.
SSDI is meant to provide an income when you are unable to work for an extended period because of illness or injury. To qualify, you must meet Social Security's standard for disability — essentially, that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working for at least a year or will result in death. It doesn't matter whether your ill health is related to your job.
Workers’ comp programs pay out for injuries or illnesses suffered on, or as a result of, your job, covering medical costs and some portion of lost wages. Though it can be permanent, workers’ comp usually goes to people who are unable to work for a short time or who are considered partially disabled and can return to a job with reduced demands and lower pay. That means not everybody who gets workers’ comp will qualify for SSDI.
Workers’ compensation can provide income while you're waiting for SSDI — it typically takes a few weeks for a workers’ comp claim to be approved or denied, versus three to five months to process an SSDI application. (The Social Security Administration recommends filing for SSDI as soon as you become disabled because of the time it takes to go through the application process.)