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Can workers' compensation affect Social Security disability?

Workers in Arizona who suffer an on-the-job injury and receive workers' compensation need to be aware that the workers' compensation payments might affect Social Security disability payments, if they also receive those payments. If a person is receiving payments from private insurers or pension funds, then the payments from Social Security will not be affected. Workers' compensation is a different matter. Since workers' compensation payments are made to a worker who suffered an injury at work and might be paid by the state or federal institutions, SSD payments can be reduced.

Those who are receiving workers' compensation and SSD benefits cannot receive an amount that surpasses 80 percent of the average earnings the worker made before the disabling incident. This includes benefits paid to family members. In the event the amount that is received through both payments goes beyond 80 percent, whatever the excess amount is will be deducted from what is received from Social Security disability.

An example would be if the average earnings of the worker was $4,000 per month. The injured person could receive a maximum of $2,200 in SSD benefits. If workers' compensation paid $2,000 per month, the entire amount received would be $4,200 and would go beyond 80 percent of the current amount earned. Using these figures, the amount received would be reduced by $1,000 to reach the 80 percent maximum. This will continue until the person reaches the retirement age of 65.

If the payments change in any way, the Social Security Administration must be informed and this will have an affect on the payments received. Some workers' compensation payments are made via lump sum and this, too, can affect the total amount paid.

When a person is involved in a workplace accident and receives a work injury, some workers are able to receive both workers' compensation and SSD benefits. It is imperative to note that this can affect how much is received in total. Speaking to a legal professional about these issues may help a worker deal with any confusion or handle mistakes that might have been made.

Source: ssa.gov, "How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits," accessed on Jan. 5. 2016

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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