Social Security Disability and Workers Compensation Benefits
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June 1, 2017
If you suffer from a disability that was caused by a work-related accident, it may be possible to receive benefits from both workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD).
Collecting benefits through both workers’ compensation insurance and SSD is rare, and both programs are known for denying candidates on their first application.
However, if you are entitled to benefits from both programs, the Phillips Law Group’s Social Security disability and workers’ compensation attorneys in Phoenix will review your claim to determine how this can be achieved.
Qualifications for Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that most employers in Arizona are required to carry under state law.
Because it is a no-fault program, you do not have to prove your employer was responsible for causing your injuries to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The only qualification you need to collect workers’ compensation benefits is to prove that your injury is work-related and that you are unable to perform your job’s required duties.
If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, all medical expenses related to your work-acquired injury will be paid for by your employer’s insurer.
You may also receive benefits from lost income that amount to two-thirds of your wages at the date of your injury for any time you may have missed due to your condition.
However, the benefits you receive from workers’ compensation are only intended to provide temporary financial relief. These benefits will end once you have either healed to the point you can return to work.
It is important to know that your workers’ compensation benefits are provided by your employer’s insurer, which is a separate entity from which you would receive SSD benefits. This means that just because you are approved for workers’ compensation, does not mean you are automatically approved for SSD.
Qualifications for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you suffer from a long-term disability that prevents you from gaining substantial employment, you may be qualified to receive SSD benefits.
SSD benefits are provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to financially support disabled individuals. Candidates can apply for benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you must be diagnosed with a condition that prevents you from working for at least one year or will result in your death.
Conditions that meet these requirements can be found in the SSA’s listing of impairments, also known as the “Blue Book.” If you suffer from an impairment found on this list or a condition that is equally severe, the SSA will likely considered you to be totally disabled.
SSDI is a work-based program that you earn access to by working and paying Social Security taxes. Every year you work, you are awarded work credits from the SSA for the amount of Social Security taxes you pay.
You are awarded up to four credits per year that you are employed in a job that contributes to Social Security. One credit is equal to a quarterly income of $1,300 as of 2017. This means your annual income must be $5,200 to earn the maximum four credits per year.
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must earn between 20 and 40 workcredits depending on your age when you became disabled.
If you have earned enough work credits, you must have a disability that:
- Prevents you from performing duties required by your previous jobs
- Prevents you from performing any work you are trained or qualified for
- Disables you for at least one year or is expected to result in your death
To receive SSDI benefits, the SSA requires that you demonstrate your condition has rendered you totally disabled and that you have evidence to support this claim.
SSI benefits are reserved for individuals who are totally disabled but lack the work credits to qualify for SSDI. This program is designed to provide financial support for only basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing.
To qualify for SSI benefits, candidates must meet one of the following requirements:
- 65-years or older
- Permanently disabled
- Legally blind
In addition to suffering from a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year, you must earn a limited income and own very few assets for the SSA to obtain SSI benefits.
How Workers’ Compensation Effect Your SSD Benefits
If you qualify for both SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits, the total amount of benefits you receive from both programs cannot be more than 80 percent of your income at the time of your injury.
This is referred to as “double recovery.” If the benefits you receive from both programs surpasses this limit, the SSA will reduce your SSDI benefits until it brings your total amount to a figure under 80 percent.
Double recovery only affects SSDI benefits if you are also receiving workers’ compensation. Any private disability insurance or pension benefits you may be receiving will not have any effect on the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. However, they will affect your SSI payments and eligibility.
Our Social Security lawyers are experienced in handling claims involving double recovery and can help ensure the SSA does not your total benefits by an unreasonable amount.
Accomplished Legal Help for Social Security Disability Claims
Although you may be eligible to receive both SSD and workers’ compensation benefits, both programs rarely accept applicants on their first attempt.
If you need help proving your disability or properly filing a claim, you should contact the Phillips Law Group for reliable assistance.
We will review your disability, employment history, financial assets and income to determine which benefits you are entitled to during a no obligation consultation.
All of our services, including our initial case review, come at no upfront cost. The only time we require payment is if we successfully recover payment for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 for a free legal review of your disability claim.
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