Work-related injuries are always something you hear about but aren’t necessarily something you thought you’d suffer from yourself. Workplace injuries can be traumatizing, painful, and can negatively impact your ability to maintain employment.
That being said, it’s crucial to know what to do and what your financial options are after you’ve suffered a serious workplace injury. We’ve compiled some of your financial options here to help you get an idea of what to do next.
Which occupations have the largest number of workplace injuries?
Disability after suffering a workplace injury is more common in some industries than others. The top five most common industries where workplace injuries occur include:
- Service (firefighters and police)
- Installation, maintenance, and repair
Many of these occupations involve operating or working with heavy machinery. There are approximately 2 million semi-trucks currently operating in the U.S. and, although they’re made partly with aluminum for corrosion resistance, 13% of the world’s steel is used in the automotive industry.
Manufacturing also uses heavy equipment and materials. Approximately 100% of the scrap or unused material is recycled.
Under federal law, safety procedures are required to reduce the risk of workplace injuries and it’s up to your employer to ensure safety procedures are created, taught, and followed. But unfortunately, even with safety procedures in place, accidents can happen.
What are my financial options?
There are different financial options available to you depending on the extent of your injuries. These options include:
- Disability insurance. If you’ve become disabled from your work-related injury, you can file a claim with a private insurer. If the claim is successful, the insurance company will pay benefits that will match the amount you would have been paid by your employer if your injury hadn’t occurred. To qualify for disability insurance, you need to prove to an insurance company representative that you no longer have the physical ability to perform the same kind of work that you performed prior to the accident.
- Social security disability benefits. Social security disability insurance, or SSDI, is a component of social security you can use after suffering a workplace injury. You may be eligible for SSDI if you’ve become disabled and are no longer able to maintain your regular employment because of your disability. However, it should be noted that being approved for SSDI can be challenging. Your claim often needs to be appealed multiple times before you can access your benefits. Additionally, to obtain SSDI, you may need to undergo many physical examinations and fill out a lot of paperwork.
- Workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is one of the most common choices for workers dealing with workplace injuries. Workers comp is a type of insurance that differs by state but is available to provide help with medical bills and lost income that was a result of your injury.
If your work-related injury hasn’t left you unable to work, but has still left you disabled, you may be able to receive reasonable accommodations for your disability through the Americans with Disability Act.
No one ever expects to suffer from a workplace injury. But when you’ve been hurt on the job, it’s important to know what your financial options are to keep yourself afloat.