Were you injured in a workplace accident or are you suffering from an
occupational disease? If so, you’ll soon learn that while
workers’ compensation benefits are essential to injured workers, they do not equal 100% of an employee’s wages.
According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, “The
amount that a worker receives is based on his/her average weekly wage
for the previous year.” To see the formula for calculating benefits, click
While receiving workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers have
to take a reduction in pay. Due to this factor, it’s only natural
for injured or ill workers to wonder, “Can I also apply for
Social Security disability benefits?” According to the Board, if a worker becomes seriously
disabled and the condition is permanent or expected to last at least 12
months, the worker may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits
in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
Can Workers Collect in Full?
This is the deal: While
workers’ compensation does not bar you from applying for Social Security disability benefits,
it can affect
the amount of your disability benefits. In other words, you cannot collect 100% of your previous wages.
“If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability
benefits, AND Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of
these benefits can’t exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings
before you became disabled,” says the
Social Security Administration.
Since the total amount of benefits you receive from workers’ comp
and SSDI cannot exceed 80 percent of what you were earning before, this means
that any excess would be deducted from your Social Security payments –
not your workers’ comp benefits.
So, is it still worth applying for SSDI? Absolutely, especially if your
medical condition is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Since you paid Social Security taxes all of these years, you should take
advantage of them if your condition meets the SSA’s definition of
a “disability.” What’s more, depending on the facts
of your case, you may also be entitled to compensation from a third-party.
It’s important to discuss this possibility with an attorney from
our firm because it could mean
How Workers’ Comp Affects Disability
To file a workers’ compensation claim on Long Island or anywhere
else in New York,
contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman.