Being involved in multiple benefits programs at the same time can lead to some overlap in the types of benefits that you receive. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will not lose SSI if you get a workers’ compensation settlement. However, the amount that you receive from Social Security may change based on your benefits from workers’ compensation. This is because there is a limit on the amount of compensation you can receive compared to your average wages before you were disabled.
History of Workers’ Compensation
According to the Iowa Orthopaedic Journal, workers’ compensation programs developed because of widespread industrialization. As workplaces became more dangerous, a need arose for a way to compensate workers who were injured that made workers’ compensation programs more important. In the early 19th century, companies began to offer programs to help workers who were injured on the job. It helped companies retain workers and limited the need to replace workers who were injured. They could recover and come back to work.
Over time, these programs became more streamlined and robust, offering an increasing amount of protection for workers. By the early 1900s, there were programs in nearly every state and a program for federal workers as well. The federal government never intended to create a centralized program and left most of the responsibilities up to state governments. This policy still stands today, which is why workers’ compensation programs across the country vary from state to state.
Effects of Workers’ Compensation on Social Security Benefits
If you receive workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security benefits at the same time, your Social Security benefits will be affected by the compensation that you receive from your employer. This is because Social Security limits the amount that you can receive at 80% of your average wages from your organization. If you exceed that 80% threshold, your benefits will be adjusted. Your Social Security benefits will likely pay less to keep you below the threshold.
Understanding Your Rights
Employers are required to maintain safe working environments that are in line with all regulations and requirements. If they failed to do so and it led to an injury, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This can help you collect compensation that can pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, recovery costs, and other expenses.
If your claim is denied for any reason, you have the right to file an appeal. Once your appeal has been filed, your case proceeds like a regular civil trial. The judge must review your case and provide a ruling within a specific amount of time.
Steps You Can Take After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have filed your claim for workers’ compensation, you can follow up with the oversight agency for your state. They have a limited amount of time to reply to your claim and to address any problems. Your claim may be denied, which gives you the right to file an appeal. Discuss your case with a lawyer to see what your legal options are and how to proceed. It is also important to continue with medical treatments and rehab services. These services will help get you back to work so that you can earn the full amount of your wages.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
There are many reasons to hire a lawyer when dealing with workers’ compensation benefits. There is a long history of companies making it difficult for employees to file for workers’ compensation. This is less true of modern companies under government oversight, but problems still happen. Hiring a lawyer can help you address these problems so that you can file your claims without issues.
You may be offered a settlement agreement as a quick way of resolving your case. If this happens, it is a good idea to have a lawyer represent you. You need to have the agreement reviewed and negotiate terms that represent your interests. This process can be difficult unless you are experienced at high-stakes negotiations. Instead, hire a lawyer to do the negotiating for you. It gives you a better chance of getting the compensation that you need.
If you are filing an appeal because of a decision on a claim, consulting a lawyer may help you with the appeal process. You may only have one chance to successfully appeal any decision that is made. Since the outcome could drastically change the next few years of life, you want to give yourself the best chance of successfully appealing the decision. Work with a lawyer to develop your case further and provide the evidence needed to effectively argue in your favor.
Contact a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Although you will not lose SSI if you get a worker’s compensation settlement, it can affect your other benefits. If you are unsure of how your benefits will be affected, consult a lawyer to see what your legal options are. Discuss your case with the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC by calling (800) 603-4224.