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Will Workers' Comp Bar Me From SSD Benefits?

Were you injured on the job, or are you suffering from an occupational disease? If so, then the first place you probably looked for compensation was your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance and rightfully so. Now, you’re disabled to the extent that you are unable to work and you’re thinking, “Maybe I should see if I qualify for Social Security disability benefits. After all, I have paid into the system for years.”

If you’re already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, will that automatically disqualify you from receiving Social Security disability benefits? If you are receiving disability benefits from a private source, such as from a private pension or insurance – those will not affect your ability to receive Social Security disability benefits.

“But what about workers’ compensation?” If you are receiving workers’ comp benefits or other public disability benefits, either one may reduce the amount of Social Security disability benefits you are entitled to receive. The key word here is “reduce.”

Facts about workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Workers’ comp benefits are specifically paid to workers who suffered a work-related injury or illness. They do not apply to people who were injured while “off the clock.”
  • Workers’ comp benefits can be paid by insurance companies for employers, or by state and federal workers’ compensation agencies.
  • The workers’ comp system is a no-fault system, meaning a worker is still entitled to benefits, even if he or she was partially or entirely at-fault for their injuries, with limited exceptions which are noted below.
  • Workers can be denied benefits if they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or trying to hurt themselves or someone else during the accident.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), “If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits, AND Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of these benefits can’t exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you become disabled.”

Essentially, if the total amount of benefits you receive between workers’ comp and SSD benefits exceeds 80 percent of your average earnings, the excess dollars would be deducted from your Social Security benefit. So, while workers’ comp benefits certainly do not bar you from receiving disability benefits, they can reduce them.

To file a claim for disability in Plano, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.