Can I Receive Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability?


Yes, though your Social Security Disability benefits or worker’s compensation benefits will likely be reduced.

Typically, disability payments other than Social Security disability benefits will not affect your benefits. However, there are two notable exceptions to this rule. If you receive worker’s compensation or another public disability payment, the worker’s compensation or Social Security benefits you and your family members receive could be reduced, depending on your home state. In some states your Social Security Disability benefits will be reduced and in other states you will receive a full Social Security Disability benefit but your Worker’s Compensation benefit will be decreased. Either way, there are usually some extra benefits available through Social Security even if you are on Worker’s Compensation.

Regardless of which benefit your state cuts, the reduction ensures that the combined amount of the Social Security benefit you and your family receive plus your workers’ compensation payment and/or public disability payment does not exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings. Though it might seem odd that Social Security is keeping money from disabled persons, the reason Social Security caps benefit payments is to curtail fraudulent claims. With the caps in place you cannot make more money than you did before by simply being disabled, which leaves little incentive to submit false claims.

What Payments Will Be Considered Workers’ Compensation or Public Disability Payments?

According to Social Security, workers’ compensation is a payment that is made to a worker due to a job-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation can be paid by federal or state agencies, insurance companies, or employers. On the other hand, public disability payments could be paid under a federal, state, or local government law or plan that pays for injuries and disabilities that are not job-related. Examples of public disability payments include civil service disability benefits, military disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits which are based on disability.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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