The interplay between workers' compensation and SSD benefits

Many of our readers already know that if they suffer an on-the-job injury they will likely be entitled to workers' compensation. This compensation will be awarded regardless of fault, unless the worker was engaged in an activity that was deemed to be outside the scope of employment. However, workers' comp benefits don't last forever. Workers who suffer a serious injury that will keep them out of work for an extended period of time may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Some of our readers may be thinking, "Can I really receive both workers' comp and SSD benefits at the same time?" The answer is yes, but there is a catch: the amount of workers' compensation benefits that the injured worker receives may reduce the amount of the monthly Social Security Disability benefits.

And, while it sometimes doesn't take much evidence to qualify for workers' compensation benefits, that is definitely not the case to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Applying for SSD benefits can be a time-consuming and arduous task, and approximately 60 percent of all applications are denied on the initial attempt. The injured worker would have to prove that the injury has caused a long-term disability - one that will keep the applicant from working for at least 12 months.

So, what is the total cap on the combined benefits a worker can receive? According to the Social Security Administration, the combination of workers' compensation and SSD benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of the worker's average current earnings.

Source: ssa.gov, "How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits," Accessed Aug. 31, 2015

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