If you are disabled from a work injury you need to consider both Social Security disability and workers compensation. These are separate types of benefits that serve different purposes. In some situations, it may be possible for you to qualify for both. Below, we will analyze Social Security disability and workers compensation and how the two programs are related.
Social Security Disability vs Workers Compensation: Which is right for me?
When people refer to “Social Security disability” they are often referring to the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Sometimes we abbreviate this to SSD or SSDI. However, people with disabilities who have little income and few resources, may also be eligible for disability payments through the Supplemental Security Income program. This is often abbreviated SSI. A vast majority of disability claimants fall under the SSDI and/or the SSI disability programs.
Social Security disability is not intended to be a replacement for workers compensation. The main difference is that workers compensation in Pennsylvania requires that your disability be caused by a work-related injury. In other words, is the reason you can’t work because of an injury sustained at work.
If your disability was not caused by a work-related injury, you will not be eligible for workers compensation. This is a factor when analyzing how we approach Social Security disability and workers compensation.
The other main difference is that while Social Security disability requires a complete inability to work, workers compensation does not. If you are capable of working, Social Security disability is probably not the right program for you.
It is possible to qualify for both Social Security disability and workers compensation if you meet the requirements for both programs. This happens in cases in which a person has a work injury that prevents them from working. In such cases, hiring a lawyer who knows both Social Security disability and workers compensation is extremely important. If you don’t file the cases at the right times, in the right order, you can hurt your cases and cost yourself money.
These two programs are very different and serve two different purposes. Let’s look a little deeper into Social Security disability and workers compensation.
Social Security Disability and Workers Compensation: How they relate
In most cases, Social Security disability and workers compensation are completely and totally separate. It is possible to qualify for one and not the other. It is also possible you can qualify for both. The question is whether you meet the criteria for each of the programs.
Because of the nature of the two programs, many people will qualify for both programs. We would consider this when looking at Social Security disability and workers compensation.
Does workers compensation affect Social Security disability?
Yes, workers’ compensation can affect Social Security disability. When you’re fighting for workers compensation, you’re fighting against an insurance company. They fight back. That means that in many cases they will try to prove that you aren’t injured or that you have recovered from your injury. Those reports can absolutely hurt your disability case. And yes, you must submit them to the judge, by law.
The other major issue with the interplay between the two programs is that Social Security disability benefits are “offset” by workers compensation benefits. That means that in many cases your SSD benefits will be reduced if you are receiving workers’ compensation or if you have settled a workers compensation case.
The key here is hiring an attorney who knows Social Security disability and workers compensation. There are ways to reduce or minimize the workers compensation offset. There are ways to minimize the damage to your disability case. We can help you with that strategy.
Does Social Security disability affect workers compensation?
Yes, Social Security disability can affect your workers compensation case. In many cases, being awarded Social Security disability benefits results in receiving Medicare. Unfortunately, receiving Medicare benefits complicates workers compensation cases. It can make it harder to settle your case and can result in you receiving less money in your settlement.
You should not pursue Social Security disability and workers compensation without speaking with a disability lawyer who knows the workers’ compensation system.
SSI vs Workers Compensation: How they relate
Because SSI is a means tested program, it would be unusual that you would be able to collect both SSI and workers compensation. In most cases, if you receive workers’ compensation benefits you will not qualify for SSI during that time period. For that reason, there is very little relation between SSI and workers’ compensation.
Does workers compensation affect SSI?
Yes, receiving workers’ compensation would directly affect your SSI eligibility. You will need to be aware of SSI income limits. It is likely that receiving workers compensation will disqualify you from receiving SSI. This answer would really depend on how much you are receiving from workers’ compensation. If it is under SSI income limits, you may qualify for both programs.
However, because an SSI case can complicate a workers’ compensation case, do not apply for SSI without speaking to a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer.
Does SSI affect workers compensation?
Yes, SSI can affect your workers compensation case. In many cases, being awarded SSI benefits results in receiving medical assistance or Medicaid. Unfortunately, receiving Medicaid benefits complicates workers compensation cases. It can make it harder to settle your case and can result in you receiving less money in your settlement.
You should not pursue SSI and workers compensation without speaking with a disability lawyer who knows the workers’ compensation system.
Can I receive Social Security disability and workers compensation?
Yes, technically, but it may be a bad idea to receive both at the same time. As discussed above, receiving Social Security disability while receiving workers’ compensation benefits can complicate your workers’ compensation case. In many cases, the better strategy is to settle your workers’ compensation case before pursuing the Social Security disability case.
If you’re considering Social Security disability and workers compensation, you should speak with a disability lawyer. We can help you plan to receive both types of benefits.
Contact ARM Lawyers today
When you are disabled, you need a disability lawyer who understands both Social Security disability and workers compensation. Our disability lawyer handles both types of benefits so we can tell you what you need to know about Social Security disability and workers compensation.
Never hesitate to reach out to our office during any part of the process. We can skillfully guide you through everything, step by step. Call 484-464-2066 for a free consultation today.