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Receiving Social Security disability and workers' compensation

Missourians who are injured, become ill or have a condition because of their work will often be able to collect workers' compensation benefits. They might not be aware that they can also collect Social Security disability benefits. Before trying to collect both, however, it is important to know that workers' compensation and other disability payments can affect the benefits that are available through Social Security.

Social Security disability benefits can be reduced if the person is collecting workers' compensation. There are limits to how much can be collected in total. A person who received both workers' compensation and Social Security disability cannot exceed 80 percent of their average earnings prior to becoming disabled. There are certain benefits that do not affect Social Security disability. They are benefits from the Veterans Administration; benefits from state and local government if Social Security taxes had been deducted from the person's earnings; and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a need-based program that is contingent on a person's resources.

The average current earnings will be determined via different formulas that the Social Security Administration uses. The individual circumstances will decide which formula will be used. Once the payments are being made, any change should be reported to the SSA immediately. If the benefits stop, then the SSA should be informed of that. Any change will likely affect what the disability amount is. In some cases, the worker will get a lump sum payment. This too can affect Social Security disability.

Simply receiving workers' compensation in any form does not mean that the person cannot get SSD benefits. After a work-related injury, illness or condition, a person has the right to receive all the benefits he or she is entitled to. Speaking to an attorney who is experienced in Social Security disability can help.

Source: ssa.gov, "How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits," accessed on July 4, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

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