Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Can I receive worker's compensation & Social Security Disability?

Though there has been much discussion of this topic over the years, the answer is yes. A claimant may draw both Worker's Compensation, as well as Social Security Disability benefits simultaneously. However, there are some restrictions, and laws differ by state.

While Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program with federal regulations, Worker's Compensation is a state run program defined by laws enacted by each state separately. Each program requires a claimant to submit separate applications. In addition, each maintains its own, completely different, set of requirements for qualification. A worker who has been hurt on the job should consult with an attorney in his or her state to discuss specific rules of their worker's compensation program.

Claiming worker's compensation benefits does not decrease a claimant's chances of receiving Social Security Disability, but it can decrease the amount received. The number one limitation to note regarding the claim of both benefits simultaneously is that the total sum of both payments together cannot equal more than 80 percent of a worker's previous income. This means that if a worker is receiving worker's compensation payments but is then also approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security disability payment will be reduced by the agency to bring the total cumulative amount to less than 80 percent of what the worker was making.

For these reasons, it is highly recommended that any claimant who is considering drawing benefits from both programs consult with an attorney. Experienced legal counsel can determine the most beneficial route for any claimant, whether it be to continue drawing from both programs, or to replace one with the other ensuring the highest payout allowed by law.

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