A work-related injury may be so severe that it causes you permanent disability and prevents you from returning to your job. An injury this severe can qualify you for Social Security Disability.
If an injury that qualifies for SSD also relates to your job, can you collect both SSD and workers’ compensation at the same time? Yes, but there are limits to how much you can collect in benefits altogether.
How does workers’ compensation affect your SSD benefits?
According to the Social Security Administration, public benefits such as workers’ compensation reduce the amount of money that you can receive for Social Security Disability. Essentially, you cannot receive more from benefits than you would earn if you were working.
How does the SSA calculate how much workers’ compensation reduces your Social Security Disability?
Altogether, the benefits that you receive, including SSD, cannot exceed 80% of your earnings at the time that you became disabled. For example, if you earned $4,000 per month at the time of your injury, 80% of that would be $3,200.
Now imagine that you were eligible to receive $2,200 per month from SSD, but you also receive workers’ compensation of $2,000 per month. This would add up to $4,200 in benefits per month, which is over the $4,000 per month that you were earning initially and well over the $3,200 that represents 80% of your previous earnings.
So that your benefits do not exceed that 80% benchmark, the SSA would reduce your Social Security Disability benefits from $2,200 per month to $1,200 per month. This plus the $2,000 that you receive from workers’ compensation would equal $3,200 per month in benefits, equal to 80% of your pre-injury earnings.