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If I get workers’ compensation, can I get disability?

Many residents of Saint Louis, Missouri, have experienced a work-related injury that leaves them unable to continue earning income, sometimes permanently. These people may have been offered, and are even receiving, workers’ compensation benefits in order to cover medical bills and a portion of their lost wages. These people may wonder where they can also draw Social Security Disability benefits, since those are designed for people who are disabled and unable to find meaningful work.

The short to the question is “yes,” since Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation are two different programs, one usually being run by the state of Missouri and one always being run through the federal government, by the Social Security Administration.

There is, however, a catch, in that, under the Social Security Administration’s rules, a person may only receive workers’ compensation benefits for loss wages and Social Security Disability benefits up to 80 percent of the person’s average income which they enjoyed prior to becoming disabled. When combined, if the workers’ compensation benefit and disability payment exceed this 80 percent threshold, then the disability payment gets reduced accordingly.

By way of example only, if a Saint Louis resident averaged $5,000 a month gross prior to being disabled and now draws $3,000 in workers’ compensation benefits, then he or she could only get $1,000 in disability benefits even if he or she is otherwise entitled to more.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability can be a daunting task on its own, but oftentimes, the rules which apply after qualifying can also present complicated issues which may require the assistance and advice of an experienced Social Security attorney.

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