Law Office of Jennifer Zorrilla


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Does workers’ compensation affect SSD benefits?

California residents who are injured in a work-related accident may be unable to return to work right away. If workers are disabled, as per the Social Security Administration’s definition of the term, they might be able to file and collect SSD benefits for their disabling condition. But what happens if the injured individual is also collecting workers’ compensation? Does one type of benefit affect the other?

Although disability payments from a private source, such as insurance or retirement benefits, don’t affect SSD benefits, workers’ compensation benefits could reduce them. This is because workers’ comp is paid from federal or state workers’ compensation agencies or by insurance companies for the employers. Similarly, civil service disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits, may also affect SSD benefits. On the other hand, Veteran’s Administration’s benefits and SSI do not reduce SSD benefits.

If the SSD benefits recipient also receives workers’ comp, then the total amount of benefits should not amount to more than 80 percent of the average current earnings before the recipient became disabled. For example, workers who were earning $4000 per month before they became disabled, and who receive $2,200 in SSD benefits and $2,000 monthly from workers’ compensation, would be receiving benefits that amount to more than 80 percent of their average earnings. As a result, SSD benefits will be reduced by $1,000 to make the amount go down to 80 percent of their income, which is $3,200.

The numbers may be complicated, as may be the sources of income and payments a person has after they become injured in a manner that prevents them from completing tasks related to their jobs. Figuring out how different benefits interact with one another is an important issue to determine and often requires legal assistance.


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