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Can I get both workers’ compensation and Social Security?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2019 | Workplace Injuries

As readers of this Columbus, Ohio blog probably know, our law office represents injured workers who likely need help making financial ends meet. After all, when someone is out of work, perhaps indefinitely, due to a workplace injury, it is important that she receive all the compensation available to her.

In this state, Ohio has a workers’ compensation program through which those who get hurt or sickened on the job can get help with medical bills as well as some compensation for lost wages. For those whose condition is long-term, Social Security Disability benefits may be available through the federal government.

If eligible, an injured worker can take advantage of both of these programs without having to fear that they are double dipping. Doing so could in fact be the very thing that makes a big difference between being able to stay afloat while recovering from an injury and facing financial hardship.

There is, however, at least one caveat with respect to this rule. Specifically, under the Social Security Administration’s rules, a person cannot combine SSD benefits and workers’ compensation payments to draw more than 80 percent of her average gross wage before her injury.

To give a hypothetical example, let’s say a worker was drawing $4,000 a month prior to getting hurt. After his injury, he is able to obtain $2,500 a month in workers’ compensation benefits. Under these circumstances, the most the Social Security Administration will pay is $700 a month even if he is otherwise eligible to receive more. The reason is that he would then draw $3,200 altogether, and $3,200 is 80 percent of $4,000.

Still, it may be worth it to a Columbus worker to explore both forms of benefits with the help of an experienced attorney.