If you’ve settled a workers’ compensation claim and are receiving or expected to receive Social Security disability benefits, be sure that you or your lawyer put in the settlement documents the appropriate Social Security offset language. Generally speaking, the more workers’ compensation benefits that are received for a given time period, the lower the Social Security disability payments. There is a mechanism by which that offset can be spread out over the expected lifetime of the worker. In doing so, the injured worker nets the maximum entitlement under the two combined programs. The offset is calculated by taking the net amount of the settlement recovery, after payment of attorney fees and costs, divided by the life expectancy under the workers’ compensation rules to achieve a monthly equivalent for purposes of Social Security offset.
This offset does not apply to Social Security retirement. It does not apply to survivors’ benefits. It applies to a worker who receives a lump sum settlement through worker’s compensation. and is either on Social Security disability or expects to be with the goal being to cause that monthly offset to be less.
Don’t lose out on Social Security benefits you could be getting
You should never wind up with less than the minimum for either benefit. In other words, there is generally no downside in pursuing both Social Security disability and workers’ compensation. You are entitled to an inappropriate amount. The court will ordinarily approve with that key essential offset language included.
For details or questions, get in touch with Steve Howard Law.