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Q: I'm collecting workers' compensation wage loss benefits but my budget is still tight. I just turned 62. Should I start collecting my Social Security Retirement benefits now?

A:

One of the worst things you can do for your workers' compensation case is to collect Social Security Retirement benefits. The reason is simple: the workers' compensation insurance company can reduce your wage loss or indemnity benefits by 50 percent of the amount of SSR benefits you are collecting. This decision has a huge effect not only on your weekly compensation rate but on the ultimate value of your case if you were ever going to settle your workers' compensation case through a lump sum settlement.  

If your budget is extremely tight due to being on workers' compensation after a work injury, you should look at applying for Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability does not have the same effect as SSR benefits; In fact, collecting Social Security Disability will not reduce your WC benefits at all. If you have any questions about how Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability, and Workers' Compensation disability benefits interact, contact the Central PA team of lawyers at Schmidt Kramer in Harrisburg.