Unfortunately, many people in the San Diego area suffer serious illnesses and injuries related to their jobs.
Even in jobs that people consider safe, a lot can go wrong.
Workers in all types of professions can suffer a debilitating injury in a work-related accident that leaves them unable to return to work.
But not every workplace illness or injury happens overnight. Many times, Southern California workers face physical and emotional stressors that, over time, can wear their bodies and minds down.
After years or even decades, workers may find that they can longer continue to earn an income because of the conditions in which they worked.
The good news is that just like everyone else, ill and injured workers can apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. If they have a work history, injured or ill workers could draw Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or SSDI.
How workers can get disability payments
However, even if they are getting other benefits like workers’ compensation, Californians will need to prove that they have a qualified disability before they are able to draw Social Security benefits.
Proving a Social Security Disability claim is a legal matter that is different from getting workers’ compensation or other benefits.
To give just one example, there is no such thing as a short-term Social Security Disability claim.
To qualify for SSDI, a person must show that their condition will either result in their death or last for at least 12 months.
Likewise, there is no such thing as partial disability in the world of SSDI. A person will have to show that their injury or illness prevents them or at least sharply restricts them from working at all.
There may be consequences for getting benefits from different sources
People are allowed to draw both SSDI payments and other government programs if they qualify for them.
However, there are some rules about how much a person can receive in Social Security if they are also receiving government benefits like workers’ compensation.
Basically, a person cannot receive more than 80% of their average earnings from both their SSDI payment and their workers’ compensation.
If they are receiving more than 80%, then the government will reduce the Social Security payment.
So, for example, if a person averaged $5,000 a month in earnings before their disability and is getting $3,000 a month from workers’ compensation, then the most the government will pay in Social Security is $1,000 even if the person otherwise qualifies for more.