Can I Collect SSDI & Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 12-Apr-2016

If you’re like most people, you may have never thought about being disabled until something happened to you. According to the Social Security Administration, people’s chances of becoming disabled are greater than they know.

The SSA says that studies show that a 20-year-old has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before they reach the age for retirement. So, if you were injured or became ill in a work-related accident, the first places you may look to compensation are Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation.

Since Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work because of a disabling medical condition, it’s understandable why people can get confused about what types of benefits they should seek.

Can you collect both Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time? Continue reading for the answer.

For starters, in order to collect SSDI benefits, you must meet the SSA’s definition of a “disability,” and you must have paid into the program long enough to receive benefits. For example, if you’re 38 years-old, you must have worked at least 4 years in order to qualify for disability benefits.

Generally, to meet the SSA’s definition of a disability, an applicant must have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one full year, or result in death. Considering these requirements, people often qualify for workers’ compensation and disability benefits.

How Workers’ Comp Affects SSDI Benefits

If you receive a disability payment from a private source, such as a private pension, then it will not affect your Social Security benefits.

On the other hand, if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, which are paid to a worker after a job-related injury, these may reduce your Social Security benefits.

Essentially, if you end up getting approved for workers’ compensation AND SSDI benefits, the total combined amount of both benefits cannot be more than 80% of what you were earning before you became injured or ill (disabled).

If you have further questions about receiving workers’ comp and disability, don’t hesitate to reach out to our New York workers’ compensation firm for help.