The answer is yes; however, there can be a limitation as to how much you receive.
This depends on how much money you were making in the years prior to your disability. Essentially, when you add together your monthly Worker’s Compensation benefits with your monthly Social Security benefit, it cannot equal more than 80% of your monthly wages.
In other words, the sum total of your two benefits cannot be greater than 80% of your wages. The government’s intent is that you shouldn’t be making more money while on disability than working. If the sum total of these two benefits is greater than 80% of your wages, one of the two will then be reduced, so that the sum equals 80%.
The state from which you receive benefits determines which of the two benefits will be reduced, as it varies from state to state. In Michigan, for example, Workers’ Compensation benefits are primary and, as a result, the Social Security Disability benefit is reduced, if you exceed the 80% cap. In other states, the Social Security benefit is primary, and the Workers’ Compensation benefit will be reduced.
It’s important to note that in situations where your Workers’ Compensation case is resolved by way of a lump sum settlement, it’s very important to include a “Social Security allocation” in the Workers’ Compensation settlement documents. This is a statement that allocates the total sum of the net proceeds of the settlement over your anticipated life expectancy.
Although you receive the settlement in one lump sum, it clarifies that the settlement is intended to cover you for your anticipated life expectancy. Such a Social Security allocation can dramatically reduce any potential offsets or coordination of your Social Security benefits in states where Workers’ Compensation is primary. This process can be a rather complicated one, and I would strongly advise that you consult an attorney, in order to ensure that you are in the best position possible to protect your rights.
At Levine Benjamin, we can help you with a Social Security Disability claim and a Workers’ Compensation claim. If you can no longer work because of your medical conditions or if you’ve suffered a workplace injury, let our disability attorneys help. Call us today for a free consultation.