Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  SSD Basic Facts  >  Current Article

Can I get workers compensation and also get Social Security Disability?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  263 Comments

Learn how you can get Social Security disability and workers compensation disability benefits and how workers comp affects Social Security income.

    Print       Email
get-social-security-disability-2

Watch the Video: “Can I get workers compensation and also get Social Security Disability?”

Get Both Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability

If you’ve had an on-the-job injury and are eligible for workers compensation, you may be eligible to receive both workers comp and Social Security at the same time. Workers compensation and Social Security have different definitions of disability. Social Security usually requires you to be disabled, not just from the job you were in when you were injured, but also from other kinds of work. For a discussion of Social Security’s definition of disability, please see our article “Do I Have to Be Completely Incapacitated to Get Social Security Disability?”

Don’t Wait to Apply

If you think that you may meet Social Security’s disability definition and that you will be disabled for twelve months, then it is a good idea to apply for Social Security Disability right away. If you wait till your workers compensation runs out, you might be left with no income while your Social Security claim is pending. You might even lose back pay Social Security benefits, if you apply more than seventeen months after you become disabled.

Social Security Benefit Calculation with Workers Compensation

The amount of Social Security Disability benefits you receive may be reduced if you receive workers compensation for the same period for which you receive Social Security. This is because the law says your workers comp benefits and your Social Security Disability benefits—including benefits paid for your dependents—can not exceed eighty percent of your average earnings, as defined by Social Security. In some cases, a lump sum payout of workers compensation is prorated to a monthly amount and is considered to be overlapping with Social Security until the proration runs out.

For example, if your average earnings are $2,000.00, then eighty percent of your average earnings would be $1,600.00. If you are getting $1,300.00 from workers compensation, then the most you and your dependents could get from Social Security would be $300.00.This is true even if your unreduced Social Security is more than $300.00. This reduction, called workers compensation offset, will be applied to reduce your dependents Social Security benefits first, before reducing your benefit.

When Workers Compensation Offset Stops

Once your workers compensation benefits—whether temporary monthly benefits or a prorated lump sum—no longer overlap with Social Security, then your Social Security Disability benefits and your family’s Social Security dependents benefits will increase to your maximum amount.

Workers compensation offset will also stop if you are still receiving worker’s compensation when you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age. At that time, you will not longer get Social Security Disability because you will be switched to Social Security Retirement, and workers compensation offset will no longer apply. For information about becoming disabled while receiving reduced Social Security Retirement, see our article “Will My Benefits Increase Because I Became Disabled While Collecting Early Social Security Retirement Benefits?”

    Print       Email

263 Comments

  1. Kim Courser says:

    I was wondering my husband was receiving WC and he took a smaller amount while he was living so that when he passed away it would carry on to me. So I recieve widower benifits from them now. I have become disabled and will be going to court soon to see if I will recieve it. My question is will my social security benefits if i get them be reduced because of workers compensation widower benifits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kim,

      I am not certain. My guess is that if the disability benefits you have applied for are disabled widow’s benefits on your husband’s Social Security account, the worker’s comp payment may be taken into account resulting in a reduction. I think that if you are approved for disability on your own earnings record, the workers comp survivor benefits may not be considered in the calculation. Either way, when you declare the workers comp benefit make it clear that it is not being paid for your own disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  2. Bad accident at work 6-04. 61 yrs old, would be 62 on 9-04. Got offset ssd with full w/c. then at 65 yrs old I got full ss & offset w/c . that was 12 yrs ago & comp is still offsetting w/c. Should I ask social security or/ & comp about why they are still offsetting. I live in Pa. thanks Henry.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Henry,

      I suggest that you ask workers comp. I would have expected the offset to have ended when you reached full retirement age, but workers comp laws vary a bit from state to state.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  3. Carmen says:

    Hello, I worked for a big insurance company for 17 years then got sick with chronic migraines and was fired for being out too long, I had purchased a long term disability policy from 1995 From my employer, long story short they denied my claim, had to get a lawyer and won my case in 2014 and settled for a lump sum which ended up being less than I was entitled to because they said they were deducting any future ssdi payments. I got sick about 5 years ago and stopped working in 2012, when state disability ran out I applied for ssdi and just got letter stating I was approved back to July 2012, is the lump sum I received be deducted from my back pay? I read a lot of your questions and responses but most of them have to do with work comp. thank you in advance for your time…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carmen,

      Social Security Disability benefits are not reduced for long-term disability (LTD) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  4. The Dang says:

    Dear Kay,

    My case has been settled and I am now considered Permanent Total Disability. I have been receiving the payment of $767/week since I have been out of work and the payment will last until I reach the retirement age ( 67 ). Now I want to apply for SSDI to get the Disability Certification so I can get my full pension from private company. How should I apply for this?

    Thanks.

    The Dang

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear The Dang,

      You can start your Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) claim online at http://www.ssa.gov. You can read articles about how to apply under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of this webpage. Be sure to list the workers comp you get because there is a limit between the amount of workers comp and Social Security that you can receive. Given your fairly high workers comp, you might be approved for SSD but have benefits suspended. If that happens, you would still probably have the SSD entitlement needed for the private pension. Also, it could have a positive effect on the amount of Social Security Retirement you would receive at age sixty-seven when workers comp offset no longer applies.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  5. Ross says:

    Hi!

    I was on WC and recently settled my case. My question is can I apply for SSDI, even I received lump sum from WC? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ross,

      Yes, you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) now, and you should do so if you are unable to work. If you are approved, your SSD will be reduced for a period of time because the workers compensation (WC) lump sum settlement will prorated out over a number of months. Despite the WC offset, the two benefits together are usually more than either single benefit. Also, the sooner you apply the easier it will be to gather information to prove you are disabled; and, if you are eligible, your SSD will be all set up for when the WC proration runs out. Submit copies of the WC awards when you apply.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Ashley says:

      How long does it normally take to settle a wC case

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Ashley,

        I am not sufficiently familiar with the administration of workers compensation to answer your question. You might check with your workers comp carrier or your attorney.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  6. joao victor says:

    I have been off work since 2012, i received 12 months from edd, and than ltd took over until 2015, before ltd took over they ask me to sign an agreement contract for payback if I was awarded benefits from ssdi, which i signed and send to them, Im still waiting for ssdi approval I have appealed twice, but Ltd decide to hold the estimates from ssdi for the first ten months, until I ask them why, they weren’t aware of the letter I signed, I ask for them to look in my file , and when they did the letter was there, they immediately stopped the estimates , but they told me they would not pay me the ten months prior, only when I get approval from ssdi, i told them I need the money and it was my money and it was there fault not mine, they keep denying, I also waiting for workers comp setllement, if i decide to receive by monthly payments does ltd will ask for payback, im not receiving anything from them now.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joao,

      I suggest that you request a copy of your full long-term disability (LTD) policy so that you have it for reference. Most LTD plans reduce LTD for Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers compensation (WC) benefits for any months that overlap with months for which LTD was paid. This means that if you receive either SSD or WC for months that you got LTD, you will have an overpayment that you will have to repay using your SSD and/or WC back pay and/or WC settlement.

      An added note: usually LTD companies do not stop LTD benefits when you have signed a repayment agreement and have provided proof of application, denial, and appeal as long as you still have an appeal pending and keep them notified. If you have exhausted all appeals and are still denied, there should be nothing to repay. You might try just talking with a supervisor and reiterate that you will repay if you are approved on your appeal to see if you can get payments started. If that does not work and the policy is through your employer, you might discuss the situation with the company’s benefits department to see whether they would make a call on your behalf.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  7. joao victor says:

    I file a w/c claim on 2013 (have an attorney) I have rejected the two offers from w/c , as o f this date I have not receive any benefits from workers comp, I went to see a dr I believe it was the qme,Im having a difficult time to connect with my attorney, he is a very experience with w/c but I feel like there is something missing on my case, he is aware of me not receiving benefits from LTD since last December and the policy contract is over next month it covers only 48 months, I ask him again why am i not getting the TTD benefits from workers comp, I receive one year trough the EDD and Ltd until December, which Im appealing , I just don’t know why workers comp is not paying anything as far as ttd.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joao,

      I can’t provide any insight regarding your workers compensation claim, but you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD). If you are approved, be sure to tell them that you have a pending workers comp claim. If you are approved for both benefits, the maximum you can receive between the two benefits is 80% of your Average Monthly Earnings, as determined by Social Security. This limit is usually more than either benefit it by itself. Information about applying for SSD can be found in the articles under the “Apply for SSD” tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • joao victor says:

        yes, I have applied but was denied and we appeal now we are waiting for the judge . when you said 80% of my monhtly earnings , is that means 80% of my salary before I stop working.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Joao,

          Average Monthly Earnings (AME) is not based on your last monthly earnings. The payment center uses a formula to determine the and which formula depends on the specific facts of your claims. After the offset has been applied, you can request an explanation of how AME was calculated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  8. Dee says:

    I received a lump sum benefit from a workers compensation lawsuit in early 2012 for a work related injury in 2008. In late 2013 I became unable to work any longer and applied for social security disability. I was approved for disability a few months ago and received back pay from 2013. I was also getting monthly payments from ss. Now ss is reducing my monthly payments by a very large amount that I cannot survive on. How can I fight ss and get my payments back?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      The amount you can receive in combined Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers compensation (WC) benefits is limited to 80% of your Average Monthly Earnings as determined by Social Security. This offset includes WC settlements, which are prorated over time. When the two benefits exceed the 80%, SSD benefits are reduced. Accordingly, the reduction you are experiencing may be correct.

      You can appeal the calculation if you think it might be incorrect. In the appeal you have the right to request an explanation of how Average Monthly Earnings was calculated, the monthly proration amount, how that was arrived at, a list of the months over which the proration was spread, and how they arrived at the start end end dates of the offset.

      You can review the workers compensation (WC) settlement papers to see whether the settlement states the monthly or weekly rate as the basis for the lump sum and or if it is stated to cover any specific time period, especially a period before the settlement was paid. If a period is indicated, compare it to Social Security’s statement of the months to which the offset applies. If no period is stated, you an assert that the settlement was to cover all the way back to your injury, which might mean that the proration would have run out before the present time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  9. Ted says:

    Hello, I receive SSDI and its being offset because of WC payments I receive. I am now 62 years old and about to settle my WC claim for a lump sum. my question. If I take an early retirement at 62 will my WC no longer be offset by SSA or do I have to wait for the full age of 66.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ted,

      If you take early retirement at age sixty-two by refusing to receive disability benefits you are eligible for, your benefits will be reduced by close to 30%. You would not have workers compensation offset, but the retirement benefit reduction would be permanent. I believe that you would also lose Medicare eligibility based on getting SSDI for twenty-four months and you would not be eligible for Medicare till age sixty-five. Please check with the Social Security Administration to double check the Medicare information I am giving you.

      If, instead, you continue to receive the higher SSDI, there will be a workers comp offset until the earlier of the date the lump sum proration runs out or your full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  10. Injury worker suffering says:

    Hi, I am currently on WC for my carpal tunnel and mental conditions. I currently have an attorney as well. On September 7, WC accepted liability for my wrist and nothing else. However, WC is not paying any benefits because qme doctor said i am P&S not TTD. Social Security and Ltd claim are both denied.

    Is there some other programs I am eligible for? I have no source of income and I don’t want to use my car and home.

    State disability paid me for one year. My attorney is sending me to a different doctor for a second opinion. I am doing desperate that I want to settle my WC claim now. Please help!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Injury Worker,

      Check with your local state or county social services office to find out whether the state has any cash public assistance for disability persons who are disabled with low income that is payable beyond the end of the state disability insurance (SDI). To help pay the mortgage, you might consider taking in a roomer or two.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons