It is possible to get workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. However, the way your workers’ comp payments are structured could significantly affect the amount you could receive in SSD benefits.
Workers’ comp settlements may be a lump sum, in which you receive a one-time payment from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Another type of workers’ comp settlement is a structured settlement, in which you receive smaller payments over a period of time, from one to 10 years or even longer.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid to individuals who have a substantial work history and have a disabling condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or end in death. The condition must prevent the claimant from working in any type of job that he or she could reasonably perform. Workers’ comp payments are paid to workers with temporary, permanent or partial disabilities incurred on the job that leave a worker unable to perform his or her work duties.
The combined total of payments from SSDI and workers compensation cannot be more than 80 percent of your original earnings. A booklet from the Social Security Administration outlines how this process works. For example, if you earned $4,000 per month prior to becoming disabled, you may be eligible to get a total of $2,200 in disability benefits if you are married and have two children. You may also be eligible for $2,000 per month in workers’ compensation benefits. Since the total of these two benefits exceeds the 80 percent cap on benefits, your SSD benefits would be reduced by $1,000. This means a total of $3,200 in benefits would be paid from both sources. This cap on benefits is called an “offset” by the Social Security Administration.
Payments such as veterans’ benefits or private insurance payments do not affect your SSD and workers’ comp payments. Every case is different and should be carefully evaluated by a legal professional deeply familiar with both types of benefits and how to sort out complex cases. Some injured workers may be able to file a third-party injury claim, allowing for more compensation to be pursued if a third party contributed to the injury or accident.
There are many variables involved in getting disability benefits from workers’ compensation and from Social Security. It can involve a complex formula that requires careful scrutiny. If you are considering accepting a lump-sum settlement from workers’ comp, it demands a thorough knowledge of both disability and workers’ comp laws and regulations. Your local, state and federal benefits can affect your total benefits. Your family’s Social Security benefits may also affect the amount of your monthly benefits.
The experienced legal team at Marasco & Nesselbush is ready to evaluate your case at no cost to you. Our goal is to help you obtain the maximum benefits you are eligible to receive under the law. We advocate for injured workers and can assist you with all aspects of both workers’ compensation benefits and SSD benefits. Contact us for personal assistance in your work injury claim.