If you have been injured in an on-the-job accident or if your work environment caused a health issue, you may be eligible for Texas workers’ compensation. If your work injury resulted in a disability that will last for a year or more and prevents you from continuing your job, you may also be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. But can you receive both disability benefits and workers’ comp at the same time?
Workers’ Comp and Social Security Can Be Coordinated
While disability payments from private insurance policies or other private sources will not impact your Social Security disability eligibility, public payments such as those received from workers’ compensation can have an impact on whether or not you receive Social Security disability benefits.
While you may receive both types of benefits at the same time, your Social Security disability payment will be reduced depending on your workers’ compensation payment. Generally, if you receive workers’ compensation and Social Security disability, the total of your monthly payments from these two sources (and any other public benefits you receive) cannot be more than 80% of your average current earnings prior to you becoming disabled. Any amount that is in excess of 80% of your average current earnings prior to becoming disabled will be deducted from your Social Security disability payment rather than from your workers’ compensation payment. The reduction to 80% of your average current earnings will continue until your workers’ compensation benefits end or you reach full retirement age.
Different formulas are used to determine average current earnings. It is important that the right formula be applied to your case so that you can receive the full amount of benefits to which you are legally entitled.
Additionally, it is important to understand that even with the reduction, many injured workers benefit from receiving a disability payment in addition to workers’ compensation.
Report Any Changes in Your Benefits Immediately
Your Social Security disability benefit payment will change if your workers’ compensation payment changes. If your workers’ comp payments stop, it is vital that you contact your local Social Security office and let them know. Not reporting changes could mean losing out on benefits—or breaking the law.
If you have been injured at work and are now disabled, it can be extremely confusing to navigate both the workers’ compensation program and the Social Security disability program. Having an experienced disability attorney at your side during this time will ensure that you receive the support you deserve. Call Morgan & Weisbrod today for more information.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.