Understanding Workers' Comp Benefits By: The Hines and Wilson Law Firm
Navigating your work-related injury and its aftermath can be confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you through it! This month’s blog is all about workers’ comp benefits and social security disability. When you are hurt at work, you have may have questions about what your options are. Can you file a claim for both workers’ comp and Social Security Disability (SSDI)? SSDI is usually reserved for severe injuries and is for workers who are disabled and can no longer work. This federal government program provides monthly benefits for the disabled person as well as their dependents. Workers’ compensation provides medical expenses, some lost wages, and usually a lump-sum settlement to those injured at work. Workers’ comp benefits are similar to SSDI but instead of being distributed through social security, they are paid for via workers’ compensation insurance through your employer (which is required by Missouri state law). However, if you are approved for SSDI, the Social Security Administration may lower your payments by the amount of your workers’ compensation benefits due to an “offset”. If you collect workers’ comp benefits AND social security disability benefits, generally the total amount of these benefits cannot exceed 80% of your average income before becoming injured/disabled. However, if you receive a settlement for your workers’ comp claim as a lump sum payment, without an attorney to help with the settlement paperwork, this most likely will affect your SSDI. If the usual Missouri work comp settlement form is used, Social Security will likely reduce your SSDI benefits dollar-for-dollar for the full amount of the work comp settlement. That is why it is very important to talk to a good work comp attorney about your claim, before any settlement. If you have been severely injured at work and will be off-work for over a year, it is usually best to apply for both. Social Security Disability is designed for people disabled before their “retirement age” but once you reach your Social Security retirement age, your SSDI benefits convert to Social Security Retirement benefits. It’s important to hire an attorney whenever you’re hurt at work so that you know how to navigate your options and you have an expert to help you. It’s also been shown time and time again in workers’ compensation claims that those with experienced, legal representation receive more money than those who settle on their own. *** The Hines & Wilson Law Firm has more than 50 years of experience with workers’ compensation claims and is located in Columbia, Missouri. We will use our experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured at work, call us at (573) 443-4500, our toll-free number (877) 473-4500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential consultation about your claim. If you wait too long, you may lose your right to compensation.