If you receive workers’ compensation or other government benefits, it may reduce the amount of your Social Security Disability (SSD) monthly benefits. This is true whether you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both. You can get disability payments from non-governmental sources, such as private insurance or pensions, without losing out on some of your SSD benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits come from federal or state workers’ compensation programs or from your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. You can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you have a work-related illness or injury.
Can Other Public Benefits Also Reduce My SSD Check?
Yes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can reduce your disability payment if you receive some but not all types of payments from a federal, state, or local government.
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Is There a Limit on the Total Amount of Money I Can Get From Workers’ Compensation and Disability?
Yes. You are only allowed to receive a total of 80 percent of the amount of your average earnings before you became disabled. The SSA will add up what you receive for:
- Workers’ compensation; and
If the total is over 80 percent of your previous average earnings, the SSA will reduce your SSD check to make the total 80 percent or less.
For example, imagine your average earnings before you became disabled were $4,000 a month. Your total SSD and workers’ compensation monthly benefits limit is 80 percent of $4,000, or $3,200 a month. If you get $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation, you can only receive $1,200 from SSD.
The reduction of your monthly SSD check does not continue forever. Once you hit full retirement age, you will receive your full Social Security benefit check. Also, if you settle your workers’ comp claim for a lump sum and Social Security offset language is included in the settlement, the amount of the reduction in your SSD check is usually much less.
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What Does the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act Cover?
Under state workers’ compensation laws, you can get wage-loss compensation benefits if you developed a work-related illness or suffered a job-related injury. Funding for the benefit payments comes from private insurance companies, self-insured employers, and a state workers’ fund.
You cannot get workers’ compensation benefits for self-inflicted injuries or if your injury occurs when you are taking illegal drugs or breaking another law. You might not be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits if your injury was alcohol-related.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Pennsylvania?
It is possible to collect one or more of these types of workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania:
- Lost wages;
- Death benefits paid to surviving dependents;
- Permanent disfigurement of your face, head, or neck;
- Complete or partial loss of use of your sight, hearing, leg, foot, toe, arm, hand, finger, or thumb; and
- Medical care.
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What Should I Do If There Are Changes in My Condition?
You should notify both the SSA and your state workers’ compensation agency at once if:
- You receive a lump-sum payment or settlement;
- You earn income from any source; or
- You receive any government benefits.
If you fail to notify the authorities of these changes, they could hold you responsible for repayment of an overpayment or a crime.
Can I Get Help With My Claim?
The rules for SSD and workers’ compensation benefits are complex. Talk with an experienced disability lawyer to learn your rights and how to maximize the amount of benefits you can receive.
The lawyers at Berger and Green will help you evaluate your disability claim.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your free, no-obligation consultation.