Can I Collect Workers’ Comp & Disability Benefits At The Same Time?
If you are an injured worker, you may be asking whether you can collect social security disability and workers compensation at the same time. The short answer is yes! The Carter Mario Law Firm can help you maximize your workers’ compensation and social security disability benefits.
SSDI vs. Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you were injured at work and became totally disabled, you may wonder if you can collect workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers’ compensation benefits simultaneously. While social security disability and workers’ compensation both benefit injured workers, many differences exist between these programs. Due to the complex legal issues surrounding these benefits, you should consult an attorney before beginning the application process.
Under Connecticut law, workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers. If you were an employee who suffered a workplace injury or developed an occupational illness while in the scope and course of your employment, you are entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp is a form of no-fault insurance which is designed to provide financial benefits and medical treatment following an on-the-job accident.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are provided by the Social Security Administration and are intended for individuals who are permanently disabled due to a recognized medical condition which is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. If your condition is not formally recognized by federal law, you must present medical evidence showing you suffer from a medically determinable impairment significantly reducing your functional capacity. As a general rule, it can take a long time for your social security claim to be approved before you can receive SSDI benefits.
Collecting Both SSDI & Workers’ Compensation
While workers’ compensation and social security are separate entities, it is important to note the total amount of combined benefits cannot exceed a certain threshold. If the combined amount of benefits received exceeds the 80 percent threshold, your SSDI payments may be reduced. In certain cases, it is possible to collect workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits simultaneously.
The 80 Percent Rule
The 80 Percent Rule is crucial to consider if you intend to collect workers’ comp and SSD benefits. Under the 80 percent rule, the combined amount of your SSDI payment and workers’ comp payment cannot exceed 80 percent of your pre-disability average monthly earnings. The social security administration has three methods to calculate your average current earnings:
- Social security calculates your average income based on a five-year period in which you earned the most money before you were injured.
- Social security calculates your average income based on the year in which you made the most money in the five years before your injury.
- Social security calculates your average income based on your job history and previous income before you became disabled.
What to Do If Your Benefits Get Denied
It can be frustrating and overwhelming if your claim for workers’ compensation or SSDI benefits gets denied. However, there are steps you can take to appeal the decision. An attorney can work with you to gather any additional medical evidence or supporting documentation to strengthen your case.
How an SSDI / Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help
Navigating the complexities of the workers’ compensation and Social Security systems can be challenging, especially if your benefits are denied or you want to ensure you receive the maximum available benefits. A workers’ comp attorney can reduce the impact of receiving workers’ compensation benefits on your SSDI benefits by including spreading language in the settlement agreement, which spreads workers’ comp payments throughout your life. Additionally, a workers’ comp attorney can include “set aside” in your workers’ compensation settlement agreement which sets aside money for future medical treatment and thereby avoid an offset of SSDI payments.
Talk with a Disability Attorney Today
You should consult a disability attorney if you have questions or concerns about collecting social security disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits following a work related injury. The Carter Mario Law Firm has been protecting the rights of injured workers for over 30 years. Contact us today for a free consultation.