Can You Collect Both Social Security Disability And Workers’ Compensation Benefits At The Same Time?

This question is one that has no set answer. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. Your ability to draw both types of benefits first depends on how much you earned as an employee in  each of the five years preceding the date that Social Security concludes your disability began. The general rule for you to know is that Social Security Regulations will not allow you to draw more than 80% of the highest earned amount in the 5 year period ending with the date that Social Security found your disability began.

For instance, assume that in the 5 year period before your disability began, your highest year of earnings showed $48,000. That figure represents earnings of $4000 per month. 80% of that amount comes to $3200. If you were receiving $500 a week in workers’ compensation then you take the $500 and multiply it by 52 weeks (one year) and then divide that figure ($26,000) by 12 months and you would get a figure of $2,166.66 a month. That would leave you with a net amount of $1,033.34 ($3200-$2166.66). That net amount is what SSA would send to you, unless your benefit is less than $1,033.34, plus any future cost of living allowances.

Another example, assume your highest year was $24,000. That would represent a monthly amount of $2000. 80% of that amount is $1600. So, if your workers compensation weekly check was $400, then that would mean a total of 52 checks totaling $20,800 and a monthly amount of $1733.33. In this instance your workers compensation amount is higher than the 80% amount so you would not be eligible for any monthly Social Security benefits except for the small cost of living addition that would have been applied to your Social Security amount if workers’ compensation was not involved.

The above example would apply for workers drawing workers’ compensation under the State of Georgia laws. In some states it is the workers compensation amount that is offset. In those situations the workers’ compensation checks would be reduced and then you would draw your  full Social Security disability check.

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