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Can Social Security Impact My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

When you’re seriously injured at work, it is an absolute possibility that you will not be able to return. This could be a physical injury preventing you from working, or even emotional/mental damage that leads to an inability to go back. Regardless, you will need financial support from all available avenues, and it’s important to know the details of receiving workers’ compensation while also applying for/receiving SSDI benefits.

How They Interact With Each Other

First, if your workers’ compensation lump payment comes while you’re receiving SSDI benefits, your benefits may be reduced. This is known as an “offset” and occurs when your month SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits combined add add up to more than 80% of your average earnings pre-disability. However, there are ways to reduce this offset by reporting any attorney fees, expenses involved in your claim, rehabilitation costs, and any medical expenses you have accrued or may incur. Fortunately, there are opportunities to reduce (or even eliminate) this offset with the help of an attorney. Additionally, your offset may be greatly reduced if you break up your lump sum over the rest of your life. If the person is only receiving social security retirement benefits, they will not be subject to the offset.

The second way your SSDI could be affected is that Medicare will refuse to be primarily responsible for paying the medical bills associated with your workers’ comp injuries. Dependant upon the amount of your settlement and Medicare status, there may be a lengthy review for approval of payment on certain things. You must use your settlement to pay for your medical care first, then Medicare will cover costs if/when that money runs out.