NDA News

How Worker’s Compensation Affects Social Security Disability Benefits

If you are disabled and out of work thanks to an injury or illness you sustained on the job, you may wonder if you can get workers’ compensation and other disability benefits simultaneously. Disability benefits programs can vary widely. However, we can answer basic questions about eligibility for both workers’ compensation and the two most widely known Social Security disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Worker’s Comp and SSDI/SSI Questions

How Does Eligibility for SSDI and SSI work?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a benefits program for those who have paid into the Social Security system and earned credits through their work history. The amount you receive in each SSDI payment depends on factors such as your age and how long you worked.

Generally, you have to have worked at least five years out of the 10 years preceding the onset of your disability. Each year is divided into four quarters. Each quarter worked is a credit. That means one year is four credits, five years is 20 credits, and so on.

However, an exception applies if you were relatively young when you first became disabled. If you became disabled before age 24, you will need 6 credits from the previous 3 years. If you became disabled between ages 24-30, you need credits for half the time between age 21 and the age you became disabled.

Supplemental Security Income is a benefits program for those who are blind, disabled or 65 or older, who have limited income and resources. The resource limit for SSI depends on your situation, but generally the SSI limits are $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.

How Does Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Work?

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers with job-related injuries or illnesses. It functions as a temporary wage replacement and provision of medical benefits. You may even receive vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation payments may be provided by federal compensation agencies, state compensation agents, employers, or employers’ insurance companies.

Eligibility requirements may differ depending on who is making the payments, but generally you must be an employee, your employer has to carry workers’ compensation insurance, your injury or illness must be work-related, and you have to meet your state’s deadlines for reporting your injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Can I receive both SSDI and Workers’ Compensation?

You may be eligible for both SSDI and workers’ compensation. However, worker’s compensation or other public disability benefits may reduce your SSDI benefits.

The Social Security Administration adds up your monthly SSDI benefits (including benefits that can go to your family members) and combines them with your workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits. If the total amount of these benefits adds up to higher than 80% of your average current earnings, the excess amount is taken out of your SSDI benefits.

As a typical example, if you earned about $5,000 a month before you became disabled, you and your family would be eligible to receive $2,246.70 a month in SSDI benefits. Let’s say you also receive $2,000 of worker’s compensation per month. That amount combined would be equal to $4,246.70 per month in payments.

However, 80% of that $5,000 per month earnings is $4,000. That means you would be in excess of $246.70 monthly, so that amount is deducted from your monthly SSDI payments.

Keep in mind that other factors could arise that affect both your eligibility and payment amounts for SSDI and for workers’ compensation. We recommend consulting a Social Security disability attorney to discuss your benefits eligibility.

This reduction of your SSDI payments lasts until your workers compensation or other benefits stop, or until you reach retirement age, whichever happens first.

Can I receive both SSI and Workers’ Compensation?

The amount you receive in workers’ compensation may affect your eligibility for SSI payments. Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program for people with limited income, assets and resources. Income limits for SSI eligibility depend on age and situation (such as marriage or cohabitation status). If your workers’ compensation payments exceed these limits, you may not be eligible for SSI.

Consult a Social Security Disability Attorney Today

If you have further questions about worker’s compensation and your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, contact us at 833-MY-DISABILITY (833-693-4722) for a free consultation.

Do not pursue the disability application or appeals process alone. If you are unable or no longer able to work due to a disability, our Social Security disability attorneys can help you obtain SSDI or SSI benefits. There are no upfront fees for our consultations, representation or other disability services.

Find Out If You Qualify

If you are unable or no longer able to work due to a disability, you should get
the benefits that you need. Get a free case review today.

Complete our form below or call us at 833-MY-DISABILITY .