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Private Disability versus Workers’ Compensation

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2019 | Firm News

Pittsburgh disability lawyers workers obtain private disability benefits.

When someone is unable to work due to a disability, they may be entitled to benefits provided through private disability and Workers’ Compensation. There are various factors for workers to consider when deciding which disability compensation is right for their case. The Pittsburgh disability lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. handle both Workers’ Compensation claims and private disability claim appeals.

Difference Between Private Disability and Workers’ Compensation

The main difference between the two forms of compensation is that Workers’ Compensation provides benefits for workplace injuries and illnesses, whereas private disability compensation is not contingent upon a work-related injury. Some distinctive aspects of each include the following factors:

Private Disability

  • Claimants must meet the criteria for disability, as defined in the policy
  • Provides claimants with 50 to 70 percent of their salary during the time they are unable to work due to their injury or illness
  • Coverage is optional and is typically provided by employers as part of a benefits package, but individuals may also obtain long-term disability policies
  • Only covers specific injuries or illnesses listed in the policy
  • Long-term disability assists employees when short-term disability benefits end and may cover workers until retirement age
  • Available for full-time employees, typically those who work at least 30 hours a week

Workers’ Compensation

  • Claimants must suffer a work-related injury or illness and report it to their employers within 120 days
  • Provides employees with two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to the maximum amount based on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage
  • Coverage is mandatory for Pennsylvania employers and is provided through private insurance companies, state-run insurance programs, or self-insured policies
  • Workers’ Compensation covers all work injuries that were incurred at work or while employees were acting in the scope of their employment
  • A lifetime pension may be available through Workers’ Compensation insurance for workers who have a permanent total disability
  • Available for full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees

Other Considerations

Workers’ Compensation only covers injuries or illnesses that are work-related, and the injury or illness must have been sustained in the workplace or while the employee was performing their job duties. Regardless of who caused the accident, employees are generally entitled to compensation under the no-fault system of Workers’ Compensation.

However, workers may suffer injuries in non-work-related accidents that prevent them from returning to work. In such cases, they may qualify for private disability benefits, which may amount to more than Workers’ Compensation. However, these benefits are often initially denied, and providers frequently attempt to offer settlements for less than workers deserve. It is therefore advisable for workers to seek the counsel of a qualified local attorney to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.

Pittsburgh Disability Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Help Workers Obtain Private Disability Benefits

If you have questions regarding your qualification for either Workers’ Compensation or private disability benefits, contact a Pittsburgh disability lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. We can help you understand your legal options and determine which course of action is most advantageous in your case. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 412-765-1888. Located in Pittsburgh, we proudly serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including those in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.