You can collect workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits at the same time. There are no stipulations in either program that does not permit you to collect benefits from another program. However, collecting benefits from multiple programs may affect how much you can collect from Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), your workers’ compensation benefits can only reach 80% of your preinjury wages. If your combined benefits between multiple programs exceed this 80% threshold, your Social Security benefits will be reduced so that your combined benefits meet the 80% threshold.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, there are several types that you may receive. These include:
- Wage replacement: You can receive financial compensation to replace the average wage that you received before you were injured.
- Medical expenses: Any of your medical expenses related to your injury can be claimed. This helps reduce your medical debt and keep your normal finances in order.
- Rehabilitation services: If you need specific rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy or vocational therapy, they may be covered by your benefits.
Other expenses that are not covered on this list may be covered as well. If the expense is related to your injury and recovery, then you may be able to file a claim for it. Consult a lawyer to see which of your expenses can be recovered.
Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security
Workers’ compensation and Social Security cover different situations, although it is possible to be in both programs at the same time. Workers’ compensation helps people who were injured on the job to recover and get back to work. Social Security is intended to help workers that are disabled by their injuries. To qualify for both, you have to suffer an injury on the job that results in a disability.
Many workers that qualify for both file for both as a means of increasing the amount of support that they get. Even with full coverage, it is difficult to subsist on these programs alone. There is a limit to how much you can receive, ensuring that people who start each program try hard to get back to work when they are able.
Filing a Claim
The process for filing a workers’ compensation claim is relatively simple. All you have to do is start by seeking medical treatment. The documentation from your care will be needed later. When you are able, report your injury to your employer, preferably the HR department if there is one. The company should have some type of paperwork for you to fill out about the incident, which will be reported to the right agency. You have a limited amount of time to do this, depending on which state you are in.
The local agency will contact you and follow through on your claim. It will also be reported to the insurance company if the company is covered by a workers’ compensation plan. Your claim will either be denied or approved. If it is denied, you can file an appeal, which stops the clock on the time that your claim has to be processed. The case is turned over to a workers’ compensation judge and the case proceeds like any other civil lawsuit.
To file a claim for Social Security benefits, simply visit the SSA’s website and apply online.
If your employer is covered by a workers’ compensation insurance plan, you may be offered a settlement agreement. The agreement is a way to resolve the case for both parties that can be beneficial. For you, there is a chance to negotiate a high amount of compensation while getting a much faster resolution to your case.
Before you accept a settlement agreement, review it thoroughly with your lawyer. The initial offer may not provide a lot of compensation, which can leave you with other expenses that were not compensated. Work with a lawyer to make sure that you agree to a settlement with enough compensation to cover all of your expenses.
Understanding Your Rights
If you are injured on the job, you may have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits. It depends on the specifics of your situation, but most cases qualify you for compensation. Make sure that you follow the correct process to file for benefits. Some companies do not make it easy, though. Fortunately, you can work with a lawyer to file your claims and fight for your benefits.
Having a lawyer represent you with workers’ compensation and the Social Security Administration can make it easier to collect workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits at the same time. If you have legal questions about how workers’ compensation works in your state, contact the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 603-4224 to discuss your case with our team.