When a worker is injured while performing their job duties at their place of work in Texas - or in a place related to work - their only recourse is, typically, workers' compensation. But in cases where the injury prevents someone from returning to work for a long period of time or reduces their ability to hold a job, the worker may also be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Workers' compensation benefits are administered at the state level, but SSD benefits are disbursed by a federal trust fund that the Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees. Increases in the numbers of SSD claimants - almost 60 percent - since 2001 have resulted in delays, an overburdened system and allegations that states are attempting to relieve themselves of workers' compensation claimants by shifting them to SSDI.
However, a report authored by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), has debunked such rumors. Increases in SSDI rolls have more to do with baby boomers reaching ages where disabilities more likely than any conspiracy on the part of states to save money on workers' compensation. In fact, in cases where a claimant qualifies for both SSDI and workers' comp, the latter represents the greater share of the benefits received.
The claims process for SSDI can be difficult and if workers' compensation is involved, it may become even more complicated. For this reason, it can be useful to seek the advice of an experienced attorney if someone has an injury or disorder that they believe qualifies for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Often, those claimants with representation fare better in the process than those without.
Source: NCCI, "Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers Compensation," Jim Davis, Matt Schutz and Bruce Spidell, accessed Apr. 2, 2018.