Michigan lawyer explains differences between workers’ compensation and short term disability.
Many people are confused between workers’ compensation and short term disability. They can end up getting shorted on disability payments if they are not careful and apply for the wrong benefit. To help eliminate any confusion, we explain the differences to help ensure your legal rights are protected.
What is workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp is a safety net for employees hurt on-the-job. Almost every business in Michigan is required to purchase it or will get hit with stiff penalties. It pays medical bills, attendant care, mileage to and from doctor appointments, home/vehicle medications, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
Applying for it is as easy as telling the employer about the workplace accident and requesting medical or paid time off. These benefits continue for the length of disability and for as long as medical treatment is needed. Payments are income-tax free.
What is short term disability?
Short term disability is a type of insurance that pays a percentage of salary if a person cannot work because of sickness or injury. It is usually purchased through employee payroll and does not cover work-related injuries and medical treatment.
The amount and duration of these benefits are defined by the insurance contract. It is not unusual to see these benefits end after a few months.
Our experience shows that employers try to push employees to use short term disability instead of workers’ compensation. It is much cheaper and has a fixed end date. Watch out for bad employers who want employees to lie on the claim form about how they got hurt. Promises to make up the difference under the table are rarely kept. Lies on claim forms will also be used against a person if they ever file for workers’ comp down the road. Do not fall into this trap and limit recovery options!
Employees who find their workers’ compensation claims disputed can get short term disability as a stop gap measure. Reimbursement from any settlement or award is usually required. This is a good strategy when a person needs money to survive and is waiting for their worker injury claim to be resolved. Never lie about how the injury occurred because it will come back and cause problems.
We recommend speaking to a lawyer anytime workers compensation and short term disability are paid. It is possible to avoid reimbursement to short term disability when the money received from workers’ comp is for a different time period. This means more money is paid to the disabled employee. It is also possible that minimum payments are still owed under the short term disability policy regardless of workers’ comp. Call for a free telephone consultation and make sure legal rights are protected.
Can you collect workers’ comp and short term disability at the same time?
Employees who collect workers’ compensation cannot get short-term disability at the same time. Short term disability generally does not cover workplace illness or injury. However, it is possible to get short term disability if workers’ comp benefits are disputed.
Employees who get short term disability will need to pay it back should they later collect workers’ comp.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.