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Social Security Benefits and Workman’s Comp: Way’s of Looking after Workers’ Welfare

Disability or chronic illness that renders a person incapable of continuing/finding new work will definitely have a major blow in that person’s life, especially if he/she has no other source of livelihood; worst, if he/she has a family to survive.

This was the predicament of so many workers, especially those in the construction industry, before the turn and during the first few years of the twentieth century. During those times, workers, whose injuries or illnesses were sustained or acquired from work, never had the right to demand for financial assistance from their employers since there was no law yet that required employers to compensate their employees who sustained work-related injuries. Workers, then, had to file a lawsuit against their employers just to earn the compensation that they so badly needed. This move, though, usually entailed two negative effects: first, the relationship between employer and employee was destroyed: and second, workers often lost the case.

The passing of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit law in 1908 changed this unjust situation that workers were put into. The law’s real intent can probably be interpreted as: since the workers’ injuries were sustained while performing their duties, the company, in turn, ought to embrace the duty of providing its workers with a benefit that will ensure financial assistance to them if they get injured while performing their job.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit or the workman’s comp provides fast and sure financial assistance to workers who get hurt at work. The amount awarded to workers is meant to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, disability and death.

In August of 1935, another law was passed, the Social Security Act which, in 1956, introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. This new program is intended to benefit people who get totally disabled (whether due to their job or not), so long as they have worked long enough and have earned the number of credits required through payment of  Social Security taxes.

To qualify for Social Security benefits, a person’s injury or disability should be found in the list of disabilities drawn up by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Many times, despite being qualified to receive the benefit, an applicant is rejected, simply due to errors in the application form or lack of some necessary documents. To save himself/herself from such trouble, it is advisable that he/she asks a lawyer, who is well versed in disability and insurance law, to assist him/her through the whole process.

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