Being injured on the job and losing the ability to earn a living can inflict a devastating financial blow onto individuals and their families. While workers’ compensation or disability payments can help bridge the gap, alternative sources of income for people with disabilities can rarely come close to their former earnings when received alone.
For this reason, many people who have been disabled by a workplace injury opt to apply for and receive multiple sources of disability benefit income, most commonly workers’ compensation and Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. One of the primary problems that these injured individuals complain of, however, is that workers’ compensation benefits often reduce the amount that they receive from SSD benefits.
This reduction is due to the requirement that public source benefits (such as SSD and workers’ compensation) cannot exceed 80 percent of the injured party’s average earnings prior to becoming injured. Typically, the SSD payout will be adjusted to accommodate workers’ compensation, which is called an offset.
How Can an Attorney Minimize the Offset?
An attorney cannot change the rules for you regarding your disability benefits, but the right attorney can help you use the rules to your favor, ensuring that your SSD offset is minimized. This can be especially helpful when workers’ compensation benefits come in the form of a lump-sum payment, which can have a larger-than-intended impact on your monthly SSD benefit payments.
At Schmidt Kramer, our attorneys are well-versed in both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability issues, and can help guide you through this new chapter in your life. Your comfort and security are our business. For help navigating your Social Security disability benefits, contact us today.