Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance for workers who receive an injury or experience a disability because of the nature of their job. If an employee gets sick or injured at work, the employer offers workers’ compensation. This compensation will:

  • Cover medical bills related to the injury or illness

  • Replace a part of the earnings you miss due to injury or disability

Workers’ comp also provides coverage for retraining costs if an employee is unable to perform their previous responsibilities due to the injury. Injured employees may also include payment for permanent injuries and coverage for beneficiaries of workers who lost their lives on the job.

Remember that this type of insurance only covers work-related illnesses and injuries. Thus, if you sustain an injury or acquire an illness outside your official premises, you can’t qualify for worker’s compensation benefits.

Many times, employees wonder if unemployment benefits are the same as workers’ compensation. Let’s find out.

Is Workers’ Compensation the Same as Unemployment Benefits?

The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to reimburse injured employees for missed or lost wages due to a work-related injury. Plus, injured employees may receive a variety of benefits for partial or total disability and medical care. The California law holds the employer responsible for offering benefits to employees either through workers’ compensation insurer or directly.

On the other hand, unemployment benefits support individuals when they are searching for a new position. When injured employees are unable to resume their previous job, they look for other positions and vacancies. For example, a disabled or an injured employee will look for a less physically demanding position.

Unemployment compensation offers temporary income support for employees who lost their jobs. Typically, individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own qualify for these benefits.

In most cases, the workers’ compensation insurance company views the injured worker as someone who receives two wages at once. However, there are some exceptions. The first one is for workers’ compensation employees who are facing rejection for their claims. In case they can’t resume their previous role because of an injury, they can receive unemployment benefits if the employer is forcing them to resign. The employer would require the workers to apply for other roles, possibly those that demand less physical work.

There is another difference between worker’s compensation benefits and unemployment benefits. While some people are not currently working because of an injury, the employer may put their position on hold. This waiting period is to allow time for the employees to recover and resume.

Typically, unemployment benefits are available to people who can’t return to their previous positions due to their injury or disability.

What you Should Know

Employees who want to file a claim for unemployment benefits should know that this claim could have a negative impact on workers’ compensation cases. That’s because a workers’ compensation claim revolves around the fact that the employee can’t work because of an injury he/she received at work.

In simple words, although these employees would prefer to work, they are not physically fit to do so. Only individuals who are willing to work but can’t find a paying job can qualify for unemployment benefits.

When an injured employee applies for workers’ compensation, he/she claims that they can’t work. However, their claim maintains that they are willing and physically fit for the role. Such a contradiction can be challenging to a benefits claim because each situation is different. Only an attorney can help you decide how to file a claim for receiving each of these benefits.

Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Benefits Together?

Not usually. Unemployment benefits are not applicable when you are getting temporary disability benefits via workers’ compensation. In some cases, if your doctor finds that you cannot resume work, you can receive unemployment benefits when you can’t find another job, and your company has no job for you. One important thing to remember about unemployment benefits is that you must be willing or able to work to receive these benefits. If you are unemployed and you qualify for unemployment benefits, you can receive them for twenty-six weeks over a period of twelve months.

What does Unemployment Insurance Provide?

Once your claim for unemployment insurance approves, you can start receiving benefits after a week’s time. You receive payments on a weekly basis. Although the benefits usually last for twenty-six weeks, you may get an extension if jobs are scarce or the economy is struggling.

The office handling unemployment claims in your state will determine the amount you will receive every week. If you are a federal employee, you can qualify for UCFE or the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program. While the federal government operates this program, your state laws and rules will determine the eligibility requirements. The officials will inquire how you lost your lost job or the cause of termination. They will also contact your former employer to verify the information you provide.

If you want to file a claim, every state has its own procedure. In most states, you can claim unemployment benefits online or via mail and telephone. Applicants must submit all the necessary information, including their social security number, name, address, and their employment history.

Do you need to file a Claim for Unemployment Benefits or Workers’ Compensation?

If you are an employee dealing with the aftermath of a workplace injury, you may need legal assistance. Many times, employees can’t determine the type of compensation they are legally entitled to after they experience a workplace injury. That’s why you should always contact a legal attorney who can help you choose the best type of compensation to which you are legally entitled.

Get in Touch Us

James E. Latimer and his team are providing the best legal solutions to their customers in Oakland, California, for over two decades. If you want to know more about unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation, get in touch with us. We will be happy to offer the best legal advice, according to California laws and regulations.