Some people may not realize that it is possible to receive both Social Security disability benefits and workers’ comp benefits at the same time. But, there is a catch. The amount of Social Security disability benefits one receives is lowered if the total income from their combined benefits exceeds 80 percent of the person’s pre-injury income. This is often referred to as the workers’ comp offset.
Thankfully, there are ways to minimize the amount of this reduction with the help of an attorney who has experience with both Worker’s Compensation benefits and Social Security disability benefits.
For starters, you need to understand how Social Security determines what a worker’s income was before their injury. Typically, they determine this in one of three ways:
1. The person’s average monthly wage that their Social Security disability benefits are based on.
2. The person’s average monthly earnings from their highest five straight years.
3. The person’s average monthly earnings from a single calendar year.
Once you understand how your worker’s compensation offset is computed, you next need to determine the best way to get this offset reduced. It’s not something we’d recommend tackling on your own, when you can work with an Arkansas disability lawyer with years of experience in both workers’ comp and Arkansas Social Security disability cases.
The Social Security Administration pays very close attention to the language and wording of the worker’s compensation settlement. Workers’ compensation attorneys and Social Security disability lawyers know how to draft these agreements with the best wording to maximize their clients’ benefits.
For example, some workers getting both types of benefits may agree to a lump sum settlement from workers’ comp. A properly worded settlement can allow the lump sum to be spread out for the remainder of the worker’s life, which may either reduce or entirely get rid of any offset.
Another option, if one is approaching retirement age, is to switch over from Social Security disability to retirement benefits, which are not subject to the workers’ comp offsets. The amount of money an individual receives by doing this will vary greatly from person to person, so it would be prudent to consult an experienced Social Security disability attorney to determine the best course of action financially.
There’s no doubt that it can be tricky navigating the waters of both Social Security disability and workers’ comp. If you want to gain all the benefits you can from both services, you’ll want to work with someone knowledgeable in both areas. Call the Krebs Law Firm today for a free consultation at (870) 741-8100.
We offer a free book on Social Security Disability benefits to Arkansas residents. Give us a call at (870) 741-8100. We have an office in Harrison, Arkansas just a couple of doors down from the Harrison Social Security Office.
Jason Krebs is licensed in both Arkansas and Missouri. Our main office is in Springfield Missouri. Our Harrison Arkansas office is by appointment only. The address is 125 Industrial Park Road Suite E1 Harrison Arkansas 72601. Our local phone number in Harrison is (870) 741-8100. Our Toll Free phone number is (800) 345-0535. You can also send us an email to [email protected].