Can I receive workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits at the same time?

Being hurt in such a way that you're not able to return to work for a long period of time, raises many questions about how you can financially support yourself during this period. Many people want to know if they can still apply for Social Security disability benefits while also getting workers' compensation. The simple answer—with more nuance to be explained further—is yes, but offsets to your benefits may apply.

You certainly want to maximize your rights to the highest level of benefits available to you, so make sure you explore both SSDI and workers' comp when planning to file. You may be eligible to receive both kinds of benefits, but you should know how they connect and influence one another.

More answers to commonly asked questions

Social Security disability benefits are subject to offsets in those cases in which an applicant is receiving other sources of public benefits, such as workers' comp. This means that you still retain your eligibility for SSDI coverage, but those benefits may be reduced.

Your benefits will be recorded in the system at the state level for workers comp and at a national level for Social Security, meaning that agents reviewing your second submitted application will be able to see the other materials you've applied for already and if you've been approved for benefits.

Social Security representatives evaluate offsets by determining the applicable limit for workers' comp benefits. An applicable limit is the total maximum of combined workers' comp and SSDI benefits an individual can receive under the law. The limit is the higher of either the amount of SSDI received by all members of an individual's family in the first month that benefits for workers' comp were paid or 80% of the workers' income before the disability. The maximum benefit is usually 80% of their pre-disability income. If your benefits go beyond that amount, then Social Security payments for disability would apply as an offset, bringing your total benefits down to 80% of that pre-disability income.

It can be very complicated to work through the Social Security disability claims process, especially if you are already receiving workers' comp benefits or intend to receive them in the near future. You need an experienced and knowledgeable disability lawyer to help explain this process to you and to ensure that you get maximum benefits during a time you are suffering from an accident. Do not hesitate to contact the experienced and qualified lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to assist you when you need to recover both benefits.

Unlike workers' comp, which is generally based on your employer's requirements to carry workers' comp insurance, Social Security disability has separate application requirements. To qualify for these benefits, you must have paid into the disability program through your previous employment, have accumulated enough work credits over the previous decade, have a condition that the Social Security administration qualifies as disabling, be unable to work for a minimum of a year, or have a condition that is expected to end in your death.

After a work injury leaves you suffering, you should open a claim immediately, inform your employer about the work injury and your intent to file a workers' comp claim, send copies of the forms to your employer and your insurance company, attend all necessary medical treatment appointments for your injuries, and contact a qualified lawyer. If whether or not you win your workers' comp claim does not affect your ability to pursue Social Security disability benefits, you should also begin applying for SSD, as it can take many months to get approved for benefits. Bear in mind that denials are common for both Social Security disability benefits and workers’ compensation.

You may be able to increase your chances of getting your application approved by retaining qualified SSD and workers’ comp lawyers like those working at Morgan & Morgan. Contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more.