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Differences between benefits programs

Michigan workers may think that benefits programs such as Social Security Disability for injuries and Workers' Compensation are essentially the same thing. However, there are some important differences that employees should be aware of.

One key difference between the programs is the way an injury is incurred. According to, SSDI benefits are given to employees if they have an injury which keeps them from working, while workers' compensation is generally reserved for injuries received at work. While both programs make sure that employees receive money while they are incapacitated, intentional injuries usually do not qualify for benefits. Temporary injuries are not usually considered to be disabilities. Additionally, the SSDI program allows employees to take time from work and receive a portion of their wages while they are recovering.

Differences also include payment. SSDI benefits are generally included on an insurance premium which employees pay. Workers' compensation benefits are most often paid for by employers. Benefits can sometimes differ from state to state, so it is recommended that workers understand the policies of their state of residence.

In Michigan, it is possible for employees to receive SSDI benefits and workers' compensation at the same time. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says that workers may not receive less compensation if they are eligible for both benefits programs. Additionally, employees may receive workers' compensation for any injury or disability, including those related to aging, if they can prove that conditions are related to their job. Occupational diseases which leave employees unable to work may also be covered. However, disabilities which a worker incurs while not on the job are usually eligible for SSDI benefits only.

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