July 31, 2014

Will Settling My Workers' Comp Claim Negatively Impact My SSDI Payments?

I’m getting SSDI. and worker’s comp.The Ins company wants to settle my claim. For 117,000.00. No medical. If I were to take the settlement, will this hurt my SSDI benefits? Have you ever heard of a Social Security savings claws? Thanks John

Jonathan Ginsberg responds:  John, your question raises several issues and your best bet will be to speak with an attorney about your case.   Firstly, I find it somewhat unusual that you are receiving both workers’  compensation and SSDI benefits.  In Georgia, where I practice, workers’ comp offsets SSDI, meaning that if a person is receiving weekly wage benefits from workers comp, his Social Security benefits are offset dollar for dollar.  In most cases, this means that no SSDI payments will be made while the claimant receives comp benefits.

Your State may be different, but if not you need to find out if you have been overpaid and what to do about that.

Similarly, I frequently see cases where a claimant who is receiving or has the right to receive SSDI has to deal with something called a Medicare set-aside (it may go by a different name in other States).   Because Medicare does not want to get stuck with medical costs arising from a comp injury, they require part of your comp settlement set aside to cover future medical costs.  This reduces your settlement check.

The bottom line, in my view, is that you need to speak with a lawyer who handles both workers’  compensation and Social Security disability.

[tags] Medicare set-aside, social security and workers compensation [/tags]

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Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 23 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.