People who are unable to find work or unable to work because of a medical condition or injury can rely on several different types of benefit programs to help them make ends meet. The first is the workers’ compensation system, which compensates employees who have been injured at work. Unemployment benefits are another option, however these are only paid to people who are temporarily out of work.
Both of these programs are designed to help people going through a difficult time in their lives. But, if someone qualifies for each of these programs, are they allowed to receive both workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time?
The General Rule Regarding Temporary Total Disability & Unemployment Benefits
According to 85A OK Stat § 85A-49, people are not allowed to receive temporary total disability (TTD) at the same time they are receiving unemployment benefits. The law specifically states that TTD benefits cannot be paid for any week that unemployment benefits were also paid.
The Exception to the General Rule
However, there is one exception to the general rule. Let’s say someone files a claim for TTD benefits and is denied. He is no longer able to work because of his temporary disability, but is not earning any money because he was denied workers’ compensation benefits, so he applies for unemployment benefits. He begins receiving unemployment benefits while he appeals the decision to deny his TTD claim. Eventually, the initial decision is overturned and it is determined that he does qualify for TTD benefits.
In this type of situation, TTD benefits and unemployment benefits may be paid at the same time, but only when the TTD benefits are higher than the unemployment benefits. For example, let’s say he qualifies for $300 in TTD benefits a week and currently receives $100 in unemployment benefits per week. In this case, he will continue to receive the $100 in unemployment compensation and will qualify to receive $200 in TTD benefits. This way, he will still receive a total of $300 in benefits, which is what he would have received if his initial workers’ compensation claim was not denied.
Have you suffered an on-the-job injury? If so, contact the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. We represent clients throughout the entire workers’ compensation process to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. Please call us today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.