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Can You Collect Social Security Benefits and Workers’ Comp at the Same Time?

pill bottles with crutches and disability applicationIf you suffer a serious injury at work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may think there is no way you can collect both at the same time. The truth is, you can, but the amount of SSD benefits you receive is likely to be reduced.

As this is a complex issue, it is important to talk with a licensed attorney. The Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys at Berry, Smith & Bartell are dedicated to helping injured workers throughout California’s Central Valley obtain compensation. We have extensive knowledge of relevant laws and your initial consultation with our firm is cost-free and there is no obligation to have us represent your claim. You will not be billed for our legal services unless we help you obtain the benefits you need.

Receiving Workers’ Comp and SSD Benefits

Generally, compensation from private pensions and insurance policies will not affect your Social Security Disability benefits. However, public disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits may reduce the amount of SSD benefits you receive.  

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), if you claim workers’ comp benefits while receiving SSD benefits, the total amount of all the benefits you receive cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current wages before you sustained the disabling condition. If the total value of your benefits would exceed that 80 percent threshold, your SSD benefits would be reduced to bring you back to 80 percent.

State Disability Insurance

It is important to note California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is not the same as SSD benefits. People often claim SDI benefits before applying for SSD, as you cannot claim SSD benefits unless you have a disability that is expected to last a year or more. Unlike SSDI benefits, you cannot get workers’ compensation benefits while you receive SDI benefits. However, you can receive SDI benefits while waiting for your workers’ compensation claim to be approved.

If you have any questions about your workers’ comp claim, we recommend consulting with an experienced lawyer. Contact Berry, Smith & Bartell today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Other Benefits Affected by Workers’ Compensation

Although disability payments from private sources may not be affected by your SSD benefits, other public disability benefits may be. These include programs that are funded by federal, state, or local governments that provide benefits for disabling medical conditions not related to employment. Some common examples of these programs may include:

  • State temporary disability benefits
  • Civil service disability benefits
  • State or local government retirement benefits for retirement

On the other hand, there are some public benefits that cannot affect your SSD benefits, such as:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Administration benefits
  • State and local government benefits if Social Security taxes were deducted

The Importance of Reporting Changes

It is important to report to the SSA any changes in any of your other disability benefits. If payments from these other programs stop, you may be able to increase your SSD payments.

However, it is not only critical to report a loss of funds from other disability programs. You should also report any increase in payments as well.

For example, if you were receiving $2,000 a month for workers’ comp while receiving SSD benefits and your workers’ comp payments increased to $2,500 per month, you are required to report the increase to the SSA. Failing to report an increase could affect your eligibility for SSD benefits.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Having an accomplished attorney review your situation can be an important step.

At Berry, Smith & Bartell, our licensed attorneys work to recover benefits for injured employees. Read some of our client testimonials to see what they have to say about the representation we provided.

We offer a free case review to determine whether you may be eligible for benefits. We work on contingency, which means you do not pay us unless we secure benefits for you.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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