October 25, 2014

How Do Workers Compensation Offsets Affect Social Security Disability Payments?

dear jonathan: i have been recieving ssd since around 2002 and also recieving workers comp (lifetime settlement)i am 53 years old.there is also a small payment from my ltd carrier, in the past they requested 13,000 back in which i paid because of approvel of ssd.i would like to know if ssd will want repayment of any of this money back also, I am over the 80% amount of former salery. i feel traped in this situation .i did use a law firm from the start and they handeled it all but never advised me on the details i described.  to date ssd has never requested information on any other payments recieved .your advice would be appreciated ..thank you jonathan i would think a ssd review could come up in the next year.
–Manny

Jonathan Ginsberg responds:  Manny, thanks for your question.  Generally, workers compensation does offset Social Security.  The question in my mind – does your SSDI payment already reflect an offset for workers compensation?

In Georgia, where I practice, Georgia workers compensation lawyers include special language in workers comp settlements that treats any lump sum settlement as if it was being paid over your lifetime.  In my law firm, my wife Jodi Ginsberg handles workers compensation cases.  If, for example, she settles a case for $50,000 for an individual who has a life expectancy of 30 years (per an actuarial table used in Georgia), this special settlement language treats the $50,000 not as a $50,000 lump sum but as $138.00 per month for 30 years.  In this example, our claimant would see his SSDI reduced by $138 per month.

You need to speak to your workers’ compensation lawyer to see if your State has similar rules and to see if your settlement contains this pro rata payout language.

If Social Security did not take your workers compensation settlement into account, there could be issues – you will need to seek counsel to evaluate how to deal with this problem.  I have seen some instances where a  workers’ compensation settlement has been reopened and the special language put in, and I have seen situations where a claimant successfully asked Social Security for a waiver of the overpayment obligation.  There is also a possibility that you could file bankruptcy to discharge any repayment obligation to Socal Security.

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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.

Comments

  1. debbie Wilson says:

    My son receives SSD off his dad. His SSA 1099 listed a Federal Workers Comp offset as if paid to my son, but my son did not receive it as income. I don’t understand. Can you help? Did his dad collect that amt, yet it is listed on my son’s ssa 1099?

  2. I,Have been approved for ssd.but ssd.is wating on a award letter from workers comp.a month has gone by havent gotten anything yet,I’am still getting wokers comp.check,and still under a doctor care,had back sugery 1-15-08,my company let me go as of 5-31-08.Will I have to wait for relase from doctor to go back to work to get a award letter.

  3. bridgette strickland says:

    my daughter receives a ssd check on her dad and i am not sure what offset really mean it shows she was paid amount she did not get could you explain that to me

  4. Jonathan Ginsberg your clarity on this subject is the best I’ve seen anywhere!! I’ve been trying to get answers from SSI for two months. I finally got the 80% of my earnings before being disabled figured out. : / I have some questions for you. I hope you can help me, I need to get back to my attorney with an answer.

    My average weekly income prior being disabled was $510.99 weekly or $2,043.96 monthly. 80% is $1635.18.
    The order by worker’s comp was $223. weekly for 162.5 weeks.

    The biggest question I have is whether I should take my payment from worker’s comp. weekly or in a lump sum? I am on SSDI, so all that applies with that is effected.

    If I’m getting $1221. in SSDI and $892. in Worker’s Comp monthly, totally $2113. Based on SSI’s formula and my 80% average prior being $1635.18… and the difference between the total of both incomes minus my average. SSDI will reduce my payment by $477.83 a month. I think???

    If I get a LUMP SUM payment based on weekly payments of $223. for 162.5 weeks totally $36,237.50 MINUS fees I’d get a LUMP SUM check for $29,758.05 for 134.7 weeks. Is the same formula used for weekly payments and a lump sum payments if the order states weekly payments? What formula would I use if different? How would I calculate this?
    Would my payments still be reduced by $477.83 a month for 162.5 weeks or something else?

    Am I calculating this right? Anyone!!! If you can email me or know the answers to my questions please respond. I have trouble finding the answers when I return to these things, but I’ll try my hardest.

  5. kim mehaffey says:

    i was injured at work and am drawing ssd. soon i will be in court. the attorney is asking 120,000 dollars, of this i will recievr 90,000.00 ssd says i have to pay workmans comp back out of my monthly check. how much and why do i have to pay workmans comp for being hurt
    kim mehaffey

  6. Dear Mr. Ginsberg,
    My son receives SSD on his dad. His 1099 showed 90% of money paid to Workers Comp offset and my son only got less than 10% of total. I don’t really understand and wonder who gets worker comp offset? Should my son receives the workers comp offset as well? Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks you very much for reading!

    Jen

  7. Beverly Weston says:

    Jonathan Ginsberg your clarity on this subject is the best I’ve seen anywhere!! I’ve been trying to get answers from SSI for two months. I finally got the 80% of my earnings before being disabled figured out. : / I have some questions for you. I hope you can help me, I need to get back to my attorney with an answer.

    My average weekly income prior being disabled was $510.99 weekly or $2,043.96 monthly. 80% is $1635.18.
    The order by worker’s comp was $223. weekly for 162.5 weeks.

    The biggest question I have is whether I should take my payment from worker’s comp. weekly or in a lump sum? I am on SSDI, so all that applies with that is effected.

    If I’m getting $1221. in SSDI and $892. in Worker’s Comp monthly, totally $2113. Based on SSI’s formula and my 80% average prior being $1635.18… and the difference between the total of both incomes minus my average. SSDI will reduce my payment by $477.83 a month. I think???

    If I get a LUMP SUM payment based on weekly payments of $223. for 162.5 weeks totally $36,237.50 MINUS fees I’d get a LUMP SUM check for $29,758.05 for 134.7 weeks. Is the same formula used for weekly payments and a lump sum payments if the order states weekly payments? What formula would I use if different? How would I calculate this?
    Would my payments still be reduced by $477.83 a month for 162.5 weeks or something else?

    Am I calculating this right? Anyone!!! If you can email me or know the answers to my questions please respond. I have trouble finding the answers when I return to these things, but I’ll try my hardest.

    I am 45 and I settled with workers comp in Feb 2008. I recieved a structured settlement of $100,000 over 15 years, which is $650 a month and a lump sum settlement of $78,768 after attorney fees.In the settlement papers they broke it down like this: $78,768 spreaded over my life expectancy of 33.13 years which is 397.56 months. This would be $198.13 per month. I was just approved for SSD, so they will deduct $198.13 from my benefits for the lump sum settlement. They base it on your age and your life expectancy. If your looking at getting around $29,000 you probably want be able to tell that they even off-set it. The settlement papers will have it broke down for you. Hope this helps.

  8. David Smiley says:

    Have been on ssd since 2006 mainly due to severe back issues
    I had a claim in with owcp (federal) for permanent impairment since 2003 – I recently received a check in the mail for $9,000 saying it was code 9 impairment payment and dated march 2009 through aug 2009 – that is all it says – since this was an impairment that was not my reason for total disability – does it affect my ssd and why did they put the 2009 dates for an injury that reached mmi in 2003 – they were just a slow pay as with many federal owcp claims- thanks for any advise you may offer

  9. David Smiley says:

    forgot to mention above that 2003 mmi impairment rating was for my hands – not my spinal issues which caused total & permanent disability – thanks

  10. Michelle Lozada says:

    @bridgette strickland: I just received a 1099 form for my minor child aswell. She was only receiving $12 per month from her father (my ex-husband), but the 1099 includes $1880 for Workers Compensation Offset. My daughter never received this kind of maoney last year fro anyone, we were always broke. This $ really would have helped. Why am I paying taxes on something I never recieved? I never even received child support from him, now I have to pay taxes on $ I never received. This is crazy. HELP!!!!!

  11. Evelyn Gregory says:

    My fiance was hurt in 2005at work. Granted permanant disability in 2009, we are awaiting settlement from workmans comp. Question is what is the formula nj uses to off set social security disability and a unknown future settlement of workmans comp? He has 31 more years to live according to the life expectancy charts.

  12. @David Smiley:
    I`ve also been on Federal OWCP since 2002 considered unable to do any work. My agency just seperated me so I applied for Fed. Dis. Retirement. That required that I apply for SSD. Imagine my shock when I was denied because of DLI (date last insured ) 12/31/05 guidelines. I I have never heard of this until recently. I assumed all that $$ coming out of my OWCP check was still paying into SS.
    I haven`t found anyone else dealing with Fed. OWCP & SSD.
    I have all the Dr.`s reports/MRI etc that prove me disabled between date of injury/onset to the DLI date when I ask for redetermination but I am unable to find any help on the subject.
    Any advice?

  13. I was just granted a favorable decision for SSi, I live with my son who receives SSD, I am married but separated…my husband lives in another country and is not a resident of the united states. Will my sons SSD effect how much SSI I will get. Thank you for your help.

  14. Ronald T Gray says:

    I have a 4 yr old cumulative trauma WC claim on going I have not received a dime yet I have a strong impairment rating to which i wont be working any more I was awarded SSD they went back 2 plus years so I’ am also receiving medicare.does this fall under no earning capacity as well as Life time medical.

  15. @Ronald T Gray: Ronald, workers’ comp rules vary from state to state – your question is best answered by a workers’ comp lawyer who can offer advice specific to your case.

  16. Robert Grimaldi says:

    Hello, I got injured back in 2001 in New Jersey on the job. Due to a terrible lawyer, and having to change lawyers and also a disability appeal. My workers comp case is supposed to be finally heard next month. It has been agreed by the state that I am 100% disabled from the injury. I never collected workers comp, I recieved money from PERS, public retirement system and also waited the 2 years for social Sec. to accept me. My question is, does anyone know how they figure out what Ill get? is it retroactive? Lump Sum? My current lawyer seems to duck the question. If anyone can give me some advice I would be greatly appreciative! Thank You.

  17. Ariel Ortiz says:

    I need more informantion am new at this and my lawyers have not been give me the answer i need with my case.

  18. linda martin says:

    I live in the state of MI and in 2009 I took a buy out then I applied for social security disability and started geeting in in Nov 2010. I retired in Feb of 2010. I have a workman’s comp case that is is not related to the reason I get social security disability. Can you tell me what it means when the company wants to coordinate my benefits?

  19. Robert,
    HI sorry for your injury.. I too was injured at work in NJ. You may be 100% disabled and not able to work but your actual injury will be calculated by the JUDGE at a percentage of the part. JUST dont let the pull the wool over your eyes GET IT ALL IN WRITING>.. the judge made a comment that I could work while earning my workers compensation BUT after all was said and done the insurance company told me they would cancel my litle payments if I did work.. soooo Make sure you get everything in writing…I was put out at 100% but only got 80% payment on my average salary for only about 5years NOT for the rest of my life like my lawyer told me it was going to be. I am only 49 and now the NJ second injury fund has kicked in and I continue to get SSD. I was told that my Workers COmp was going to pay my for the rest of my life… GET IT IN WRITING>>>>>
    DONT SETTLE UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING> Ohh Social Security Disability says that you can attempt to work and not lose your benefits … but if I do then NJ 2nd Injury Fund told me they would take me to court and they said they WOULD WIN and not pay me. go figure I have to live on $2000/month for the rest of my life and I was an RN…. and paid so much for my education… look who is punished for an injury beyond my control…. GOOD LUCK…..
    Diane

    `@Robert Grimaldi:

  20. tony c in il says:

    i was awarded 25 thousand dollars workers compensation lump sum 4 years ago only got 19 thousand dollar after lawyers fee,so i got 19 thousand dollars total,, now i have been approved for social security disability benefits . will it affect my social security disability benefits and back pay.. thank you in advance..

  21. tony c in il says:

    workers compensation injury settlement and the reason i am about to receive ssdi are the same injury

  22. tony c in il says:

    has anyone have any advice? thanks in advance

  23. tony c in il says:

    this site sucks thanks for NADA

  24. I receive workers comp and partial payment from ssdi my question is I’m about receive a perminent partial payment how doest that affect my ssdi payments

  25. karen fishpaw says:

    @debbie Wilson:

    i would like to know about the same thing, My son did not receive workers compensation offset where did the money go??

  26. I was getting workers comp for about 18 months. I maybe getting my SSI and SS in a few months. MY question is will worker comp take what they paid me? Help because I don’t know

  27. Tony, I don’t think workers’ comp will take anything, but Social Security may apply an offset and not pay you for the months when you were receiving your weekly comp check.

  28. I was injured 2005, multiple complications never imagining I would never work again. I am now 49, have 4 children all over 18 except 1 yet all at home, or school. My I jury led to severe lifelong illnesses COPD, Adrenal Insufficiency & C-spine injuries that were fused yet led to adjacent herniations, I worked FT making about 88,000-90,000/year as an RN. At my time of injury I didn’t even think I needed an attorney. I happened to pick the most arrogant, self -absorbed, cynical, attorney in NJ. Beside the severe physical damage this has left me with the emotional, & financial hardships have almost made death appear better for all
    involved, including my family. is there

  29. Continued- is there anyway to figure tbe offset with SSD? There have been multiple, court orders, like one for psychological evaluation which the insurance company called the day prior to my appointment & told them they would not pay for my visit. My attorney ignored it I even have a letter from yhe doctor saying the IC cancled telling them they would not pay. I saw the court order. I have pd for meds there IC denied totaling thousands, asked multiple times for the attorney to file a motion never happened. He now asks for my children’s date of birth & full names for an offset calculation. My attorney has been dishonest, appearing to walk on eggshells with the IC, he is now relocating his practice out of state. Everytime I ask a question he makes me feel like I am annoying him, I have kept all the records, including the money for my surgeries, hspital stays that were pd by Medicare, or while I had it my COBRA. The Ic pd for two or three of the minor surgeries compared to the hundredth’s of thousands pd by the other insurances. Once again told my attorney multiple times no response or cynical sarcasm. Any ideas?

  30. Gayle V says:

    Injured 2003, received W.C. , then SSD. Late 2005, SS Admin. wrote to tell me they were increasing my pay, as my benefits not affected by Work. Comp. so they increased my monthly pay from 259 to 950.
    Now all settlement papers signed, medicare set aside approved, and i get a letter from SSAdmin. saying they over paid me $10,800. and have a month to pay them back.

    My settlement is to be 10,400 dollars and 7 years of 400.00 payments from W.C.

    I see so many mention they get “life” benefits..

    so, SS Amin. made a mistake in 2005 obviously, and so my settlement will go to pay that off, then will my monthly SSD be reduced by the 400 payment from Work. Comp too?

    Not much reason to even have a settlement, it just reduces my Soc. SEc. Disability.

    What is the odds SS Admin will waive the over payment due to their mistake??

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