When someone sustains a work-related injury, the first step they should take is to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The benefits that the injured worker receives are compensation for disability, lost wages and medical expenses. They will also receive assistance for travel expenses, rehabilitation and change of occupation. In addition to these benefits, an injured worker can also apply for Social Security disability benefits.
However, the worker must remember that workers’ compensation can affect the SSD benefits that they receive. According to the rules set by the Social Security Administration, if an injured worker receives workers’ compensation, or certain other public disability benefits, along with SSD benefits, the total amount of benefits that the worker receives from all sources combined cannot exceed 80 percent of the average current earning of that worker prior to becoming disabled.
To arrive at a decision regarding the reduction of SSD benefits, the SSA will add all the amounts of public benefits, such as workers compensation, SSD benefits for the work-related injury and SSD benefits paid to family members of the injured worker. If the SSA finds that the total amount is more than 80 percent of the average current wage of the worker, the SSA will reduce the benefits accordingly. The SSA many also reduce the amount of SSD benefits if an injured worker receives a lump-sum workers’ compensation or other disability payment or benefit.
Both workers compensation and SSD benefits are meant to provide assistance to disabled workers and their families. However, although the rules and regulations pertaining to these benefits look simple on paper, workers and their families may realize that the process is difficult to navigate without guidance.