How Workers' Compensation and Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits

Columbia Lawyers Assisting Injured Employees

There are many federal and state laws that govern the award of public benefits to disabled workers. Keeping track of these laws can be difficult. The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig have significant experience helping injured employees in the Columbia area pursue disability benefits. If you were hurt in a workplace accident, we can help you understand how a workers’ compensation award may affect your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits May Limit Social Security Disability Payouts

It is fairly common for a worker injured in a job-related accident to collect workers’ compensation benefits in conjunction with SSDI. Although there are some differences between workers’ compensation and SSDI, both programs exist to compensate injured individuals who are unable to work. Therefore, federal law regulates how much a person may earn in combined benefits in order to avoid double compensation.

The effect of this law is that people who collect workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits may be subject to a limitation in disability benefits. This limit is called an offset. The offset applies to the Social Security disability benefits of an employee who also earns workers’ compensation or other public benefits that are based on a disability. VA and SSI benefits are not subject to an offset. In other words, Social Security disability benefits will not be reduced on the basis of VA or SSI income.

Offsets Limit a Worker’s Benefits to 80 Percent of Income

The general rule is that if an injured worker earns both SSDI and workers’ compensation (or other disability) benefits, the total compensation will not total more than 80 percent of his or her average earnings from the time before the disability.

For example, if you earned an average of $1,000 a month before your injury, your combined workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits are legally limited to $800 a month. In the event that the combined benefits did exceed $800, your Social Security disability benefits would be reduced by the requisite amount until either you turn 65 years old or the other benefits end.

The wages you earned before your injury are calculated using formulas that may vary depending on your situation. Additionally, there can be other complicating factors, such as a lump sum workers’ compensation payment. In the event of a lump sum payment, the amount is prorated to achieve a monthly equivalent that is used to calculate the 80 percent limit. An experienced attorney can help you understand the amount of benefits for which you are eligible based on your previous earnings.

Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with a Jefferson City Attorney

If you receive Social Security disability benefits, a workers’ compensation claim could result in an offset. Federal law mandates that you receive no more than 80 percent of your normal wages. The work injury lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig can help you if you were hurt in an accident near Jefferson City or elsewhere in Missouri and are unable to work. To learn about the benefits for which you qualify, call (877) 657-2050 or complete our online contact form. We have represented clients in Ashland, Columbia, and across the state.

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