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Effects of a workers' compensation case on SSD benefits

If a worker in Missouri is injured, usually the first action that the person needs to take is to file a workers' compensation claim. However, filing a workers' compensation claim can affect that worker's Social Security Disability benefits for injury. The worker may be entitled to benefits or may become eligible for benefits based on the injury in the workplace. There is a possibility that the worker's Social Security Disability claim may be affected and, therefore, every worker must understand those potential consequences.

Oftentimes, it is not until after a worker is injured that the person may not be able to work anymore due to physiological limitations. In such cases, that worker may file for Social Security Disability benefits in addition to the workers' compensation claim. However, the worker should remember that his or her income for Social Security Disability benefits may be reduced because of payments that the person receives as part of a workers' compensation case settlement.

This holds true when an injured worker is already receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Thankfully, there are ways in which an injured worker can limit the effect that the person's workers' compensation case settlement has on the benefits. This is generally achieved by adding certain language in the workers' compensation case settlement or by ensuring that an addendum is added to the settlement stipulation that contains that particular language. It is important to remember that the language must be a part of the settlement when it is approved by the Administrative Law Judge for it to be effective.

If a workers handle their cases alone, they must raise the question about loss of social security disability benefits arising from the workers' compensation case settlement before agreeing to the judge's decision. It is important to remember is that there are multiple burdens of proof for Social Security and permanent total disability according to Missouri's workers' compensation laws, and qualification for one benefit does not mean that the injured worker is entitled to other benefits by default.

Source: DOL.MO.gov, "Effects of Your Workers' Compensation Case on Other Benefits," accessed on Sept. 12, 2014

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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