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The relationship between workers’ compensation and SSD benefits

| Jun 9, 2017 | Workers' Compensation |

Many workers in the Cincinnati area who wind up getting hurt or sick on the job need all of the financial help that they can get. After all, they will likely have medical bills and other expenses to pay for following their injury. More importantly, the injury or illness may have cost the worker his or her sole means of support.

Those Ohioans who have suffered a work-related illness or injury are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover a person’s medical bills and will also compensate the person for a portion of his or her lost wages. If the injury or illness has left the worker unable to work long term, he or she may also be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Disability program. The idea of this program is also to replace a disabled worker’s lost income, or at least a portion thereof.

Provided they qualify for both, an Ohio worker can draw both Social Security disability benefits and workers’ compensation at the same time. Doing so can be very helpful to a worker and his or her family, as it means more income their pockets to help them get over a difficult financial and emotional situation.

There is one important caveat about which workers should be aware, and that is the Social Security Administration has a rule that could potentially limit how much money in disability benefits a person collects. Basically, the Administration limits the total benefit, with workers’ compensation income replacement benefits and disability benefits combined, to 80 percent of a person’s former wages. If the combined benefits exceed this amount, then the Administration will reduce the disability payment until the threshold is met.

By way of example, a person who earned $5,000 a month before being hurt and now gets $3,000 a month in workers’ compensation will only be able to collect $1,000 in Social Security disability, even if he or she otherwise would qualify for more, because 80 percent of $5,000 is $4,000. Even with this limitation however, it may still be worth pursuing both disability and workers’ compensation.