For many people, injuries can mean the loss of much-needed income. Thankfully, there are systems in place that may be able to assist such people, especially if the injury is job-related.
If employees qualify for more than one benefit, offset might apply. It can be helpful to understand how offset affects SSD and workers’ compensation benefits.
As the name indicates, offset is a way to adjust for possible overpayment of benefits. This comes into play particularly when employees are eligible for both SSD and workers’ compensation. In such cases, the SSA reduces the amount of the SSD award so that employees receive no more than 80 percent of their usual income in total benefits. The type of disability that employees receive determines the enforcement of offset. Along with offset, some states utilize reverse offset, which reduces the amount of workers’ compensation instead of SSD to achieve the same goal.
Simply stated, offset helps to eliminate the possibility of overpayment. In some cases, if employees received the full SSD and workers’ compensation benefits, they would receive more payment from the awards than they would from their salaries. This could encourage some people to prolong going back to work. Therefore, offset helps to make sure employees do not receive too much money but rather enough to still cover their necessary expenses.
The intent of offset is to assist employees through recovery while encouraging them to return to work at their greatest capacity if possible. In many cases, this goal is achievable. However, in some instances, it may cause issues with employees receiving the full benefits that they need. In such instances, it can be helpful to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.