May I receive Social Security Disability if I get work comp?

Residents of the greater Sacramento area who get hurt or sick at work are eligible to receive benefits through California’s workers’ compensation program.

These benefits are available to pay for an employee’s medical bills. If an employee must be away from work to recover, they also reimburse part of the employee’s lost wages.

An employee who has been permanently disabled and cannot return to his job may receive compensation for years.

However, as helpful as they are, these benefits may not cover all of an employee’s losses. In this case, an employee can look for other sources of income and is encouraged to do so.

Social Security Disability are available to injured workers with a cap

For example, an injured or ill worker may also wish to apply for federal benefits through the Social Security Disability program. An experienced Social Security attorney can help with this process.

Even if she is drawing workers compensation, she still will have to meet Social Security’s criteria before receiving disability payments.  If she does qualify, though, Social Security can provide a valuable secondary stream of income.

There is one caveat in that Social Security will cap benefits for those who are also receiving regular workers’ compensation payment.

Specifically, between the two programs, a worker at the most can draw 80% of his average monthly wage prior to his debilitating injury or illness. The Social Security Administration will partially withhold disability benefits to enforce this cap.

For example, if the person received $5,000 monthly prior to her injury and now receives $3,000 a month in workers’ compensation, the must she can receive in Social Security Disability is $1,000 a month, even if she otherwise qualifies for a higher payment. The reason is she is capped at 80% of $5,000, or $4,000.