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Social Security Disability benefits and workers' compensation

Florida residents who suffer an injury while working and receive workers' compensation might not know that they may also be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, when a person is disabled and seeking these benefits, it is important to understand how receiving workers' compensation benefits might have an influence on the what is received through Social Security Disability. The Social Security Administration has certain criteria as to whether the amount the person can receive is affected by workers' compensation. Knowing these regulations and the percentages is important.

For a person who is receiving workers' compensation as well as Social Security Disability benefits, the total amount of the benefits cannot go beyond 80 percent of the amount the person earned from work prior to becoming disabled. The amount that the person receives in SSD benefits - including those that are paid to family members - will be combined with the workers' compensation payments. When the amount is greater than 80 percent of their previous earnings, the extra amount will be taken from the SSD payments.

An example would be if the person made an average of $4,000 monthly. The person and family would be able to get $2,200 for SSD. In addition, if the person is receiving $2,000 each month in workers' compensation, the total amount would go beyond 80 percent of what the average was. Since, in this situation, 80 percent is $3,200, the amount the person receives will be lowered by $1,000 to reach that 80 percent. Some people get their workers' compensation in a lump sum. This too can affect the SSD benefits.

People who are receiving workers' compensation benefits oftentimes are not aware that they may also qualify for SSD benefits. In other instances, they are not aware of the rules for reporting or how the amount of reduction is determined based on the 80 percent rule. For these issues and anything else related to workers' compensation and Social Security Disability benefits, getting more information is important.

Source: ssa.gov, "How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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