Can I get Social Security Disability For Work Injuries?There are several disability programs offered at both the state and federal levels, and it is understandable that if you have been severely injured and you can no longer work you may be confused about your benefit options.
Social Security Disability Insurance vs. Workers Compensation
Workers Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured while performing your normal job duties you may be entitled to workers compensation. States have created workers compensation to compensate injured employees and provide immediate benefits to injured workers.
Work comp benefits provided by employers, at no cost to the injured employee, may include necessary medical treatment and wage replacements benefits. Death benefits can also be provided to the family of the deceased to pay for lost wages and burial costs.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance is provided by the Federal Government to injured workers who have worked and contributed enough in employment taxes to be considered insured by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Workers must also have a severe and permanent injury which does not allow them to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) for at least 12 continuous months. The SSA considers substantial activity as making more than $1,000 per month (in 2011).
So after reviewing the differences above you can see that they are a bit different. Workers comp benefits are offered to workers through the state by their employer. Social Security Disability Insurance is offered through the Federal Government and administered by the Social Security Administration.
Can I get both Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
Yes, according to the Social Security Administration Publication 10018 you may be able to receive both SSDI and workers compensation, but if you do, the total amount paid to you cannot be more than 80% of your average current earnings before you became disabled. If your earnings are more than this amount they can be offset.
Lets look at an example, lets assume that you made $4,000 per month prior to your work injury. The SSA will not allow you to make more than 80% or $3,200 per month after your SSDI benefit and your workers compensation payments are combined.
After your workers compensation benefits end, the SSA may increase your SSDI payment amount, if you qualify for a higher Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payment based on your work history and average earnings.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer
All workers compensation claimants are advised to talk to a work comp lawyer or a Social Security Disability attorney before applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Workers Compensation laws vary by state and are administered differently. Find out how your work comp claim will be affected by Social Security Disability Insurance BEFORE you apply. Keep in mind, the disability process can be very long and it may take months or years to get your SSDI benefits.
If you are receiving income through workers compensation and you do not think you will be able to return to work, it is a good idea to save as much money as you can to ensure you can support yourself while you wait for SSDI benefits.