When a California worker suffers an illness or injury it can be difficult for him to earn an income. His ailment may prevent him from going to work and performing the tasks on which his wages depend. Both workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits can provide such an individual with a means of staying financially solvent while he works through his medical issues. However, an important factor can influence whether the worker is entitled to one or the other form of assistance.
Particularly, if a worker incurs his ailment while he is performing the duties of his job then he is likely eligible to receive workers' compensation. Most employers are required to provide their employees with the opportunity to collect workers' compensation when those employers are responsible for the workers' harm. Workers' compensation payments are often made in lieu of the employee pursuing litigation against his employer for failing to provide a safe working environment.
An individual may be eligible for Social Security benefits if the injury or illness that keeps him from working occurred outside of the workplace. Ailments that are unrelated to the duties of one's job may make a person able to secure this form of assistance; prior posts on this Social Security disability law blog have discussed some of the criteria individuals must meet to apply for benefits.
There are some situations where a person may be able to pursue both Social Security benefits and workers' compensation benefits. However, as different injuries and illnesses may be treated differently by the Social Security Administration, individuals with potential disability benefits claims may benefit from consulting an experienced attorney.