Workers’ Compensation Insurance Vs. Disability Insurance

Workers' Compensation Insurance Vs. Disability Insurance text overlaying image of an injured construction worker Workers’ compensation and disability insurance are similar policies, but workers’ compensation covers both the company and the employee from injuries and illnesses that happen at work. While disability insurance covers an employee for medical problems that happen outside of work. Workers’ compensation insurance and disability both help workers who are sick or hurt and can’t work to earn money. Workers’ compensation insurance is something that most states require companies with employees to have.


It pays for a worker’s medical bills if he or she gets sick or hurt at work. It can also help make up for a worker’s lost income if they can’t work for a while. Disability insurance replaces a person’s lost income if they are hurt or sick outside of work and can’t work because they are handicapped. Most of the time, this coverage is not required. However, some states, like California, have state disability programs that require all qualified workers to have coverage.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In most places, employers are required to have insurance for workers’ compensation. But if you don’t have insurance, you could be held responsible for paying for any accidents you get on the job. If you or a worker needs long-term care, these costs can be much higher than the cost of insurance. After getting hurt or sick at work, workers’ compensation can help in three important ways: it pays for medical costs for emergency or ongoing care, pays for lost wages while the person is recovering, and protects the employer from claims. When it’s required by state law, not having coverage can leave you open to serious fines from state regulators and legal action from your workers.


The boss also has other duties, such as telling workers what their legal rights are. This is done by putting up health and safety signs at work. Such as the name of the insurance company and how to report an accident. If a worker gets hurt on the job, the boss generally has to give them a claim form within 24 hours of finding out about it. Find out more about cases for workers’ comp.

Benefits of Workers’ Compensation

Salary Replacement

Most of the time, someone who applies for workers’ compensation will get some of their lost pay back. But it won’t be as much as their full pay. Most policies cover about two-thirds of the gross pay of the recipient. Even though the payout is usually not taxed at the federal or state level. People who get money from Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income may have to pay taxes on that money, though.

Medical Bills

Workers’ compensation insurance also covers the cost of medical care for a worker who gets sick or hurt on the job. This could mean going to the hospital, having surgery, or taking medicine. If you get sick or hurt at work and it’s so bad that you need more than one treatment. Workers’ compensation will pay for that care. It will also cover accidents that come from doing the same thing over and over again. It’s important to know that most workers’ compensation plans will only pay for medical costs related to injuries that happened at work. For example, a building worker could get paid for injuries they got when they fell from scaffolding, but not for injuries they got on the way to work.

Survivor Benefits

If your employee dies because of something that happened at work, workers’ compensation can help pay for their funeral and give widow benefits to their family.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is different from workers’ compensation in many ways. In this case, an employee’s illness or injury that keeps them out of work doesn’t have to happen at work. Depending on the claim, the benefits may be paid for a few days, weeks or even for life. Disability insurance is generally split into two types:


  • Short-term disability – Benefits for short-term unemployment last from three to six months. Many employers give this coverage as part of a group insurance plan. The premiums can be paid by either the employer or the employees.
  • Long-term disability – Long-term disability gives disability benefits for more than one year and is for disabilities that last longer or are permanent. Most people buy this from an insurance company on their own. But some employers give it as an option that the employee can pay for through payroll deductions.

Disability insurance is generally not required by law like workers’ compensation. Many workers choose to add their own private plans to the disability insurance that their employers already pay. Depending on the person’s situation, these policies can work with government-funded social security disability as well. As an employer, you might offer disability benefits as a way to make your employees happier and keep them on your payroll. This is because with disability insurance, employees know that if something comes up in the future that makes it hard for them to work, they won’t be left on their own with no options.

Benefits of Disability Insurance


Most of the time, employers can choose a plan that works for both them and their workers. For example, an employer might choose a “guaranteed issue” plan. Which lets workers buy coverage no matter what their health is like right now. Disability insurance also comes with payment flexibility. The company, the employee, or a combination of the two can pay the premiums, either before or after taxes.

Lower tax deductible premiums

Most of the time, group prices are less than individual rates. As a business tax deduction, you can use company-paid insurance that was paid before taxes.

How They Both Help Employer’s and Employees

Workers’ compensation helps workers with more than just medical care and lost wages. It can also protect employers from having to pay for this kind of care out of their own pockets and keep them from getting sued at the same time.


When an employee accepts a workers’ compensation settlement. They give up the right to sue their company for an accident that is covered by the settlement. This keeps the company from having to pay for expensive lawsuits and lets employees get the help they need right away. Since a workers’ compensation claim can be processed much faster than a lawsuit. Even when it’s not required, many employers give disability coverage because it can be a cost-effective way to keep their employees from having to pay a lot of money because of an accident or illness.


Another thing to think about is that the benefits from workers’ compensation may not be enough for some people who make more money. In many places, workers’ compensation insurance can only replace a certain amount of lost income. So some employers and employees buy disability insurance to make sure they are financially safe.

When You Need Each Policy

Depending on the workers’ comp rules in your state, you may need workers’ comp coverage as soon as you hire your first employee. But some states set the bar a little higher. Some states require this coverage for independent contractors who work in jobs that are more dangerous, like construction. For example, California requires employers with one or more workers to provide this service to any regular worker in the state. Even if they work alone, roofers must have their own insurance. Businesses with five or more staff in Missouri are required to have workers’ comp. Independent workers, one-person businesses, and owner partnerships don’t have to pay.


Employers are required to take part in state disability insurance plans in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico. Most states don’t require sole proprietors and contractors with no staff to get workers’ compensation insurance. But some states do for more dangerous jobs. No matter what you do for a living, this coverage may be needed to apply for some contracts. Some companies require their contractors to have their own workers’ compensation insurance. Because it lowers the company’s liability if a contractor gets hurt on the job. Many workers buy this insurance because it protects their money. If you are a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, your normal health insurance probably won’t cover you if you get sick or hurt at work. If you can’t work because of an accident, you can also recoup some of your lost pay through workers’ comp.

How EZ Can Help

If you are in need of disability insurance for your employees or need commercial insurance to safeguard your business, EZ is available to provide assistance. Our agents collaborate with leading insurance firms around the country. To ensure the identification of optimal insurance coverage for both your business and its employees. Indeed, it is possible to get substantial cost savings amounting to hundreds of dollars annually by collaborating with your financial plan to choose the most optimal insurance coverage. If you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us at 877-670-3531 for assistance with group health insurance. Or at 877-670-3538 for inquiries on business insurance.

About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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