I wrote Battered & Broke to give injured workers a comprehensive guide to available cash and assistance while their benefit claims are pending. Here's a quick list of benefits:
Sickness and Accident, Short Term and Long Term Disability
Your employer may have sickness and accident insurance. If you are unable to work due to your injury, it is worthwhile at least to inquire as to whether or not you are covered by a short-term or long-term disability policy.
Welfare, veterans’ benefits, or pension benefits.
If you are totally disabled from all forms of employment, you may seek recovery of Social Security disability benefits. Before you apply for such benefits, you should consult an attorney.
An application for unemployment compensation benefits is not inconsistent with an application for workers' compensation benefits. If you are disabled from your pre-injury position but are capable of performing sedentary or light work, you will qualify for unemployment compensation benefits if your employer refuses to supply such work to you. Your employer or its workers' compensation insurance company will be entitled to a credit for any unemployment compensation benefits you receive while the petition is pending.
Social Security Disability
You are entitled to Social Security disability benefits only if you are suffering from a physical or medical condition that prevents performance of any substantial gainful work, and the condition is expected to last or has lasted for at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death. The Social Security Administration will consider all medical or psychiatric problems that you may have in determining your eligibility for these benefits. Once you receive these benefits for two years, you are entitled to purchase Medicare coverage for your medical expenses. If you have only minimal liquid assets, you may qualify for Supplemental Social Security. This benefit is available to very low income persons who have not made sufficient contributions to the Social Security system to qualify for disability benefits. The same disability test is applicable as for Social Security disability benefits.