Social Security Disability & Workers’ Compensation
Serious injuries on the job can put you out of work for a long time. In some cases, an injury can even end your career and your ability to work at all. When this happens, many people look at social security disability or workers’ compensation options. Many think it is an either/or situation. But the truth of the matter is that you can often get both at the same time. And if you play your cards right, you can maximize the amount of money you are able to receive.
There are different requirements for qualifying for each, so not everyone can get both benefits. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and up to 70% of your wages while you are missing work, provided that you were injured on the job and your claim is approved. (There is cap on what you can receive. Currently the rate is $561, the rate being the amount that 70% of your gross wage equals. Those injured in November 2014 or after have a cap of $571 per week. The rate increases, adjusting to inflation.) If you feel like your claim was wrongfully denied, we can help with the appeals process to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
At Boettcher & Lobaugh there are some things that we can do to help you minimize the SSDI reductions from your monthly benefits. With over 30 years of experience dealing with employment law, we have the knowledge and experience to get the most out of your settlement. Contact us today to get started!
For Social Security Disability, benefits are paid to you and certain members of your family, provided that you have been paying Social Security taxes for a long enough period. In most cases, the amount of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you receive is limited to 80% of your monthly wages while you were fully employed.
While you can receive both benefits at the same time, there is still a total cap of 80% called the applicable limit. So if you are receiving both workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits, the amount of SSDI is offset. This means that workers’ compensation can actually reduce the amount of social security benefits you receive.
When calculating the offset for your applicable limit, there are certain expenses that can be subtracted from the workers’ compensation benefits that you are receiving in a settlement. This means that costs such as legal fees and medical expenses won’t count against you when Social Security calculates the offset. The trick is that in order for these expenses to be subtracted, it needs to be written into the settlement agreement. If the language is not clear or not included in the agreement, these expenses may not be able to be deducted from the applicable limit, thus reducing the amount of SSDI benefits you receive.
Another way to limit the reduction in total monthly benefits you receive is to prorate your settlement. In other words, even though you receive a lump sum settlement you can include a “clincher” clause that specifies that the total amount is meant to be monthly payments for your lifetime. So a $24,000 settlement could only count as $50 per month over 480 months.
So while there are ways to get both workers compensation and SSDI benefits, if you try to settle without a lawyer, or use a lawyer who is inexperienced in employment law, it could cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why Boettcher & Lobaugh is the law firm for you. We are committed to serving the working man, and we will give you the one on one attention that you need. To schedule a consultation, contact us or call us at (580)-765-2541 today.