The Difference Between Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability
The laws of our country allow individuals to receive financial benefits if they are considered disabled. There are four different ways through which you can receive benefits: Social Security, a worker’s compensation program, private insurance, and a state government program. The laws vary pertaining to each of these avenues; however, there are general guidelines that can be used to determine eligibility for disability benefits.
Social Security Benefits or Worker’s Compensation?
In order to receive benefits, you must first be classified as disabled. Again, what conditions are considered disabling varies from state to state and from program to program. For example, the Social Security Administration does not provide a conclusive list for what conditions are considered to be a disability. While the “Blue Book” or Listing of Impairments supplies a partial list, it is not necessarily a reflection of the full spectrum of qualifying conditions.
This is because the Administration defines disability on your inability to work and considers whether you:
• Can do the work that you did before.
• Cannot adjust to other kinds of work due to medical conditions.
• Have a disability that lasted or is expected to last for at least one year, or to result in death.
This is a strict definition of the term disability because if you are still able to work at your current position or are able to adjust to other kinds of work outside of your current position (even at a lower-earning capacity), or if your condition is not expected to last for more than one year, the Administration will deny your claim for benefits. The term, however, does include physical, emotional, and mental disabilities.
By comparison, a disability, or work injury, under Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation Act is any injury, medical condition or disease that is caused by a person’s job. Similar to the Social Security Administration’s definition, the Act does not list specific types of injuries, other than the requirement that the condition must be related to the worker’s employment. In addition, a work injury also includes occupational diseases and pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by a person’s job. This definition is far more encompassing because a work injury can include everything from broken bones to allergies to poisoning, hepatitis and cancer.
Understanding the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Disability
Generally, there are two types of disabilities: temporary disability and permanentdisability. The difference between these two types of disabilities is the length of time the disabling condition is expected to last.
Temporary disability can be defined as a disability that affects you for a short period of time (usually days, weeks, months, or a couple of years), resulting in your eventual recovery from the disabling condition. This type of disability often includes illnesses or injuries that prohibit you from temporarily participating in daily or routine activities such as walking, showering without help, taking care of the kids, or working. For example, bronchitis or a sprained ankle would be considered a temporary disability. Many states, programs, and private insurances do not offer temporary disability benefits. When such benefits are offered, it last while you are recovering from the disability, usually up to two years, until you are able to return to work.
Permanent, or long-term, disability is an injury or illness that results in permanent impairment of routine activities, such as competing in the job market, for the duration of your life. It is an injury or an illness from which you are usually not expected to recover and will likely live with that disability for the remainder your life. You can be born with a permanent disability or it can be caused by an accident.
All states have established some form of permanent disability benefit program in order to replace your income for an indefinite period of time. The Social Security Administration only provides benefits for long-term disabilities that prevent you from making a substantial earning for longer than a year. Worker’s compensation, however, provides benefits for both temporary and permanent disabilities.
Social Security Lawyers Serving Philadelphia + Bucks County
The disability attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates have over 20 years of experience helping thousands of Pennsylvania residents qualify for the disability benefits they deserve. If you have any questions about the application process, or if you’d like to appeal the denial of an existing claim, we encourage you to call our law offices at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania to arrange for a free and private case evaluation.