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How Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Affect Social Security Disability?

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on June 17, 2013 | In Social Security Disability

Many Californians who consider filing for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits do so after they suffer injuries while on the job. Most workplace injuries in California qualify a worker for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover medical bills related to the specific injury and help replace lost income.

An experienced southern California SSD benefits attorney can help you understand exactly how workers’ compensation and SSD work in your particular situation; however, it is recommended that you educate yourself on a few basics that govern how workers’ comp benefits affect SSD benefits.

Receiving workers’ compensation benefits may reduce the amount of benefits you can receive from SSD. Specifically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not allow disabled workers to receive SSD benefits that, added to workers’ comp benefits, exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before your disability occurred. While you can apply for SSD benefits and even be approved for them based on a work-related injury, your SSD benefits may be reduced if your total SSD benefit plus your total workers’ comp benefit equals more than 80 percent of your average wage when you were working.

Benefits from private disability plans are not typically added when calculating SSD benefits. Also, if you receive Veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits, state and local government benefits from a job in which Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, these benefits are typically not added when calculating the amount of benefits you can receive from SSD. However, SSD benefits may affect the total SSI benefits for which you qualify. Your attorney can help you determine what benefits amounts you are likely to receive if you apply for SSD, SSI, or both.

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