How Workers' Comp Affects Disability

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 24-Aug-2017

A lot of workers mistakenly believe that if they’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, they are automatically disqualified from receiving Social Security Disability benefits, but that’s an inaccurate perception. According to the Social Security Administration, “Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits, however, may reduce your Social Security benefits.”

If you’re approved for workers’ compensation benefits and you’re approved for Social Security Disability benefits, this is the SSA’s rule: “the total amount of these benefits can’t exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled.”

Calculating Disability Payments

So, how is this reduction calculated by the SSA? The SSA will add your workers’ compensation to your Social Security Disability benefits. If the total amount is more than 80 percent of your average earnings before the injury, the SSA will deduct the excess amount from your Social Security Disability benefits.

The SSA will reduce your Social Security benefit every month until you reach full retirement age or until your workers’ compensation benefits stop, whichever happens first. If you receive workers’ comp benefits and disability benefits and there is any change in your workers’ comp benefits, or if your workers’ comp benefits end, be sure to let the SSA know.

Essentially, the SSA wants to know if your workers’ comp benefits increase or decrease for any reason. If there is any change in the amount of workers’ comp benefits, it will most likely affect your disability benefits. For example, a decrease in workers’ comp benefits could lead to an increase in disability benefits. Likewise, an increase in workers’ comp could lead to a decrease in disability benefits.

Should You Apply for Disability Too?

If your injury or occupational disease prevents you from working and it’s expected to last at least one year or result in death, you may want to apply for workers’ comp and Social Security Disability benefits. Why? Because, many injured workers qualify to receive at least some Social Security Disability benefits – and every little bit helps.

To learn more about workers’ comp and SSD, click here.

To get started on your workers’ comp claim, contact us today!