Average Monthly Wage Formula

Social Security Attorneys Compassionately Advising Massachusetts Residents

While workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are typically reserved for individuals who are injured in different types of circumstances, eligibility for these two benefits programs occasionally overlaps. When this happens, the Social Security Administration (SSA) institutes a cap on total benefits so that any one individual does not receive too many benefits at once. If you are considering applying for both SSDI and workers’ compensation, the Social Security lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., can help people in Massachusetts understand the impact that disability approval may have on their workers’ compensation benefits.

Applying for Multiple Benefits Programs

While the Social Security Administration program does not actively encourage individuals to apply for both workers’ compensation and SSDI, it does allow individuals who are already receiving state workers’ compensation benefits to apply for federal disability if their circumstances make them eligible for both programs. This typically happens when the applicant has experienced an injury on the job that has resulted in a serious temporary or permanent disability that leaves the individual unable to work.

At the time of approval, however, the SSDI will factor in the amount of workers’ compensation benefits that the applicant is currently receiving and will implement a cap on overall benefits, allowing the individual to receive no more than 80 percent of “average current earnings before you became disabled.” Thus, if you received an average of $1,000 a week before becoming disabled, your overall benefits would be limited to $800. If you received $400 a week in workers’ compensation, the SSA would permit you to receive no more than $400 a week in SSDI.

How Are Average Current Earnings Calculated?

While the concept of average earnings may seem obvious for individuals who received a consistent weekly wage prior to disability, it can be less clear for those who were self-employed, worked odd jobs, or received a raise in the months before they were hurt. For this reason, the SSA uses three different formulas to calculate average current earnings: high-five, high-one, and average monthly wage. When selecting which formula to apply, the SSA will use the one that is most beneficial for you. Here, we will discuss the average monthly wage formula.

Under the average monthly wage formula, the SSA will look at your monthly wages, as opposed to your yearly wages, which the other formulas use. Additionally, unlike the other formulas, this one focuses on the average of those wages, as opposed to maximums. While this formula is the most advantageous for only a select group of SSDI applicants, it is used on occasion.

Enlist a Massachusetts Lawyer for Your Government Benefits Application

If you are interested in receiving both workers’ compensation and SSDI, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced lawyer who can discuss the benefits limitations with you and how your average earnings might be calculated by the SSA. This can help ease concerns about a reduction in benefits and give you a sense of what to expect during the SSDI eligibility process. The Massachusetts attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., have extensive experience with these issues and can advise you on how to maximize your participation in Social Security and workers’ compensation programs. Based in Boston, we serve individuals from New Hampshire to Providence and other Rhode Island communities. Contact us for more information at (800) 367-0871 or online.