Yes, you can keep both worker's compensation benefits and social security benefits together. This is of course only when you qualify for both social security disability insurance benefits and worker's compensation benefits.
Since these are both separate programs under federal government, you don't need to give up one to avail benefits from another. Yet, even when you are allowed to keep both, you may face some reduction in your social security benefits to make up for extra benefits that exceed the income limits under benefits set by the Social Security Administration, SSA.While Covid 19 pandemic has cost the United States millions of dollars in worker's compensation benefits through injections for social security blankets, the fact that laid off workers are also disabled during or before the Covid 19 won't change their eligibility to apply for both Worker's Compensation and SSDI benefits. Read on to know more.
Worker's compensation offset
The Social Security Administration imposes a reduction rule to your social security benefits due to any extra income you may be receiving under your worker's compensation benefits. This is because, according to the SSA's rules, you can't earn more than 80% of total amount you earned while you were working full time. Hence, this 80% includes the sum of your social security benefits and worker's compensation benefits and should not exceed that amount.
Applicable limit on benefits
For any person earning above 80% of their full-time wages, their worker's compensation benefits offset would directly affect the social security income benefits. Hence, the social security would adjust the extra amount by reducing the amount of benefits you receive from SSDI to stay within the income limits.
The applicable limit is as follows:
- 80% of the worker's pre-impairment income, called 'average current earnings';
- The total amount of benefits received by the recipient's family through SSDI at the time of being granted the 'worker's compensation benefits';
In most cases, the 80% of worker's pre-impairment or pre-disability is always higher than the total benefits amount received by the whole of recipient's family. The SSA would always set the offset limit on the higher amount.
Reverse Offsets on worker's compensation
In some cases, where income from worker's compensation benefits exceed the amount of social security benefits, the SSDI may offset the worker's compensation benefits in the same way that worker's compensation benefits compensate social security offset. This, reverse offset is rare but will always be applied where income from social security benefits is less than worker's compensation benefits but the total income combined from these sources exceeds the 80% of amount of total earnings of the recipient before their disability.
Minimizing the financial drain from offsets
Worker's compensation attorneys would draft settlement agreements to minimize any offset SSDI amount. However, the SSDI is wise to this method and would try to overcome the settlements by converting the worker's compensation lump sum amount to a monthly amount.
How the Work Credits system is set up?
Even is you qualify as disabled, in order to be able to reap the SSDI benefits, you must have enough work credits, i.e., you must have worked long enough and frequently enough to have paid in adequate credits to the SSA to qualify for the SSDI program.
Yet, since the rules about settlements are set in the state and are not federal, most local attorneys would be able to compensate the offsets to minimize your financial drain through offsets.
Talk to a social security attorney
An experienced social security attorney will be able to analyze whether you will qualify for social security on your medical and non-medical terms or not. While you can always re-appeal your claims if you think you are denied unjustly on medical basis, you can never re-appeal if you do not qualify under the non-medical requirements.
A disability lawyer can not only determine your eligibility but also guide you on how you can become eligible in certain situations.
If you or a loved one needs help with filling up their medical requirements for the Social Security application, we highly recommend you avail the counsel of our expert social security disability attorneys for a step-by-step guidance.