California workers who get seriously injured and disabled on-the-job will have a lot of questions about benefits and workers’ compensation. First and foremost, injured workers will want to know the differences between these two types of benefits.

Injured workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits when they suffer an injury while performing their job duties. Often, no litigation is required to receive these important benefits, which are designed to cover the expenses related to a worker’s injuries. These are injuries that the employer would be liable to pay for since the worker was hurt during the course and scope of his or her employment. Meanwhile, state disability benefits are designed to pay workers weekly benefits if they suffer an injury that does not happen on the job, but still prevents them from carrying out their job duties and earning a living.

In some cases, an injured California worker may be able to qualify for both workers’ compensation benefits and state disability benefits. In these situations, if state disability benefits exceed the amount of money available to the worker through workers’ compensation (in the form of temporary or permanent disability payments), the worker may be able to receive the difference from state disability programs. Furthermore, in cases where a workers’ compensation disability claim is being disputed by the insurer, the state might provide disability compensation until the workers’ compensation dispute has been resolved. If the worker is successful in the dispute, the state will ask for its money back.

Workers’ compensation cases that involve both state disability and workers’ compensation awards can get rather complicated. For this reason, injured workers may wish to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to educate themselves on their rights.

Source: FindLaw, “The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Disability Benefits,” accessed June 28, 2016