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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Workers Compensation / Workers’ Compensation Vs Short-Term Disability

Workers’ Compensation Vs Short-Term Disability


Injuries, even serious ones, are unfortunate facts of life for many. However, depending on how and where an injury is received, a person may be able to recover benefits for what they have been through, particularly if they have been injured at work. It is not uncommon for injured employees to investigate the feasibility of claiming short-term disability benefits, either in addition to or in place of workers’ compensation coverage, but there are discrete differences in both programs. If you have been injured, contacting an attorney about which is best for you may be a good idea.

Significant Differences Between The Two Programs

In Florida, the strong majority of employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage if they have 4 or more employees, though there are exceptions (namely, in the construction and agricultural industries). Workers’ compensation benefits will cover most medical care after a work injury, as well as paying benefits for things like lost wages. However, as one might imagine, workers’ compensation is only available to those who are injured on the job.

Short-term disability benefits, by comparison, are available to anyone who sustains a disabling injury, whether on the job or off, if they have the appropriate insurance coverage – employers are not required to offer short-term disability. Short-term disability also only covers lost wages; it does not cover any kind of medical treatment or rehabilitation. It also generally lasts a much shorter period of time than workers’ compensation benefits do, though every case is different.

Can I Get Both?

It is important to keep in mind that as of this writing, there is no law preventing an injured person from attempting to collect both short-term disability and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time, given that they pay out two different types of expense relief. That said, it is not uncommon for an unscrupulous employer to push an injured employee to file for short-term disability payments instead of workers’ comp, either to try and save on premiums or in an attempt to deliberately avoid paying for your medical care.

One thing to keep in mind in possibly applying for both is that Florida recognizes a concept called subrogation. Designed to avoid a windfall for the injured person, state law holds that a person who receives workers’ compensation benefits might need to repay the workers’ compensation insurance carrier if they receive other benefits later. Benefits like workers’ compensation are designed to make an injured person whole, not to give them an unexpected payday.

Call An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been injured at work, a claim for workers’ compensation benefits will usually be your next step, but in some cases, short-term disability coverage may also be something to pursue. Our Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys can help – call the Hornsby Law Group today for a free consultation.



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