Impact of Workers’ Compensation on SSDI
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers’ compensation are two different forms of federal and state benefits programs that are available to individuals as reimbursement or insurance when they are unable to work. Individuals are typically eligible for one of these programs and not the other, but in some circumstances, an applicant may find that he or she is entitled to benefits from both programs. Navigating receipt of both benefit systems can be challenging and may raise the risk of reduced overall benefits. At Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., our Social Security lawyers have helped many Massachusetts residents work through these complexities and understand the options that may be available to them.Comparing Workers’ Compensation with SSDI
Workers’ compensation is a form of benefits available to individuals who have been injured on the job and need medical treatment and wage reimbursement for a period when they cannot work. By contrast, SSDI is available exclusively to individuals who are experiencing or have experienced a medical condition or illness so severe that they are completely unable to work for a prolonged period of time. The condition leading to the disability does not have to arise from work and can be any type of health issue.
In some circumstances, a worker who is hurt on the job is rendered disabled because of that injury and may not be able to return to work for some period of time. He or she can potentially receive workers’ compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of the job-related accident, as well as benefits from both workers’ compensation and SSDI to compensate for lost wages and provide a living allowance. Often, workers’ compensation benefits will be more temporary and will eventually run out, while SSDI benefits can be kept for a prolonged period of time.Complications of Receiving Both Types of Benefits
The most obvious issue with a disabled individual receiving both types of benefits is that he or she cannot be allowed to use both programs to receive double, or more, benefits than what he or she was originally entitled to receive. Workers’ compensation and SSDI are safety nets meant to help all individuals in their times of need and disability. Allowing any one individual to game the system in order to obtain unlimited benefits would go against this goal. For this reason, the one rule imposed by the SSA is that a disability benefits recipient may not receive SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits in excess of 80% of the individual’s pre-disability average wages. If this is the case, SSDI benefits will be reduced accordingly to keep the total wages below 80%. When workers’ compensation benefits end, the burden is on the recipient to notify the SSA to have SSDI benefits adjusted upwards to account for the loss of workers’ compensation.Seek Legal Guidance in Massachusetts for a Government Benefits Claim
If you have recently been hurt on the job and are suffering from a disability, you may be fully entitled to benefits under both your state’s workers’ compensation program and the federal SSDI benefits program. You must be careful, however, to make sure that receiving multiple benefits will not result in a total in excess of 80% of your pre-injury monthly earnings. If this is the case, you are likely to have your benefits reduced. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our government benefits attorneys can guide Massachusetts applicants through the SSDI eligibility process and can advise you on managing multiple benefits. If you would like some assistance with these issues, or have concerns about your benefits, contact our office at (800) 367-0871 or online. Based in Boston, we proudly serve people throughout Norfolk, Plymouth, Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk Counties.