Any employment-related injury is a concern for business owners, since claims against a company can increase insurance rates. Implementing more stringent safety measures and training can help a company reduce job-related injuries, particularly in high-risk occupations.
Injured workers have a right to apply for both Workers’ Compensation benefits and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The right to benefits from both sources is based on the severity of the injury, health condition or disability, as well as the expected time needed to recover the ability to function at some type of employment.
Rarely, an injured employee’s workers’ compensation benefits reduce the amount of benefits he or she will receive from Social Security. But you are still better off collecting from both programs. If an injured worker is receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits or other disability benefits as well as SSD benefits, the total cannot exceed 80 percent of the money earned by the employee prior to becoming disabled. Should an employee be eligible for benefits from both systems, only the SSD benefits are reduced, not Workers’ Compensation benefits. Cases in which a lump-sum payment is paid, rather than bi-weekly or money benefits, could impact the amount of SSD benefits an employee is eligible to receive.
Problems can arise concerning an injured worker’s ability to function on the job. A doctor may release an employee as fit to return to work, when, in fact, the employee has not recovered sufficiently and needs more time to heal. An employee may return to work but is no longer able to function at his or her former job, and will require retraining for less strenuous duty. An attorney familiar with SSD and Workers’ Compensation can answer questions you might have regarding benefits.
Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10018.pdf
Michigan Workers’ Compensation: http://www.michigan.gov/wca/0,4682,7-191-60870-274898–,00.html#Bookmark18