The short answer is yes. You can get Social Security Disability (SSD) and worker’s comp benefits due to a work accident or work-related medical condition.
However, if you receive both benefits at the same time, one of these benefits will be offset or reduced. The Social Security Administration (SSA) places a monthly limit on how much disability applicants can earn and still be eligible for disability.
Sigman Janssen is prepared to determine your eligibility for benefits during a risk-free consultation. There is no obligation to move forward. Even if we determine your claim has merit, we charge zero upfront fees to have our firm represent you and no fees while we investigate and work on a case.
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Qualifications for SSD and Worker’s Comp
SSD and worker’s comp are programs that help provide financial compensation to those who become impaired and are unable to work for some time. However, that is where the similarities end.
Worker’s comp eligibility standards are more flexible compared to SDD’s strict eligibility standards. This means that not everyone who qualifies for worker’s compensation will be eligible for SSD.
To be eligible for worker’s compensation, you must be unable to carry out your duties at work because of a work-related injury or illness. Your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance would pay out benefits on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the severity of your condition. An Appleton worker’s compensation lawyer at our firm is ready to determine your eligibility in a free consultation.
To claim SSD, you must prove to the SSA that you are completely disabled, demonstrating an inability to perform any kind of work. Additionally, your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or result in your death. These benefits are available whether the impairment is work-related or not.
How Do These Programs Affect One Another?
SSD payments are generally not impacted by private pensions, insurance benefits or personal injury settlements. Receiving worker’s comp, on the other hand, could affect eligibility for SSD benefits. In most states, a worker’s compensation settlement may cause your SSD benefits to be reduced.
However, Wisconsin works differently. It is one of several reverse offset states, which means that you can receive both benefits, but your worker’s comp benefits may be decreased.
The total amount in benefits you receive from worker’s comp and SSD cannot be more than 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled and unable to work.
What If My Earnings Are More Than 80 Percent?
Since monthly benefits tend to be significantly higher under worker’s comp, the SSA imposes a cap or limit on SSD payments when you receive both benefits. If your current earnings are more than 80 percent of what you earned before your disability, your disability benefits could reduce your worker’s comp benefits.
For instance, if 80 percent of your previous earnings before being disabled was $3,000 and you are earning $3,500 a month between SSD payments and worker’s comp, the latter will be reduced by $500.
It is important to let the SSA know of any benefit amount changes. The SSA will want any extra funds paid back if you receive a higher disability benefit amount than you are eligible for.
How the SSA Calculates Average Current Earnings
The SSA will calculate your average current earnings based on the highest monthly earnings under one of three formulas:
- The average monthly wage used for determining the benefit amount
- The average monthly wage based on your five highest-earning years in a row
- The average monthly wage based on a single calendar year, either the year your disability began or any one of the previous five years
What About Lump Sum Worker’s Comp Settlements?
If you are receiving SSD payments in Wisconsin, a lump sum worker’s comp settlement – in addition to a monthly benefit – will not affect your disability benefits.
In other states, a lump sum payment may reduce the amount of SSD received. Regardless of which benefit is reduced, it will be done to meet the SSA’s prescribed formulas.
Contact Sigman Janssen for Help Applying for Benefits
Our Appleton Social Security Disability lawyers are ready to discuss your application and why receiving worker’s comp benefits does not mean that you qualify for SSD benefits. We are here to assist you in any way we can. Our firm has helped many people over the years obtain the benefits they need.
An initial consultation is 100 percent free and completely confidential. There is no risk in reaching out to learn more about your options and no obligation to retain our services after this meeting.
Call (877) 888-5201 to talk to a lawyer today.