What You Need To Know About Collecting Social Security Disability And Workers Compensation At The Same Time


If you have been injured while at work, you may be wondering if you are able to collect money from both workers compensation and social security disability at the same time. The short answer is "yes", but make sure you understand the full answer.

The Social Security Disability payment you receive as a result of being disabled is different from workers compensation, but each can be paid to you at the same time:

Social Security Disability

This money is paid only to workers who have a good work history and who have contributed to the system throughout their working years. Payments are only paid to workers who have long term impairments and cannot work. It is not necessary for the disability to be a result of the job. You must prove that your impairment will last at least a year, and there is a five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits to begin.

In contrast, workers compensation is paid to workers who have work-related injuries or illnesses, and you become benefit eligible from day one of your job. Workers compensation laws vary from state to state, but Social Security Disability is a federal program covering every state with the same rules.

Receiving Both At The Same Time

The biggest issue about receiving both benefits at the same time is money. The amount you receive from workers compensation may reduce your Social Security Disability payment. This is referred to as an "offset", and presents one of the more confusing aspects of collecting both benefits at the same time.

Rules and guidelines for offsets can be complicated and vary from state to state, but generally your total payment from both workers compensation and Social Security Disability cannot exceed 80% of your previous job's earnings. Social Security will continue to reduce the SSI payment to offset your workers compensation payments each month until you reach retirement age and are eligible for regular retirement payments from Social Security.

Lump Sum And Monthly Payments

The offset issue becomes more complicated if the workers compensation is paid out in a lump sum settlement, instead of monthly payments. A skillful workers compensation or Social Security Disability attorney will be able to structure and word the settlement so that payments can be structured to be paid monthly instead of lump sum. The attorney will also be able to make sure that medical and legal expenses are separated from the settlement payment, since those expenses do not count toward the offset.

The need for a disability lawyer in this circumstance cannot be overstated. Workers compensation laws vary widely from state to state, and the coordination of benefits can be a complicated matter requiring an attorney. Speak with a Social Security Disability representation lawyer today to help you understand this issue and get the compensation you are entitled to.


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