In the legal system, it can seem as though the simplest of issues can quickly turn into a complicated matter. This can occur when it comes to a person’s ability to obtain Social Security disability benefits, as in any other area of law.

For example, recently this blog has discussed how Georgia residents’ disability benefits can be impacted by other financial sources. Retirement benefits, workers’ compensation benefits and other public disability payments all have the potential to affect the Social Security disability payments.

Typically, the person’s monthly Social Security disability benefits are added together with the workers’ compensation or other public disability payment. In cases where the total amount of these benefits exceeds 80 percent of the person’s average current earnings, then the excess amount will be deducted from the Social Security benefit. Different formulas are used to calculate the person’s average current earnings, depending on the circumstances.

The Social Security Administration gives the following example to demonstrate this issue. If a person earned $4,000 per month before he was disabled, his family would be eligible to receive $2,200 a month in Social Security disability benefits. If the person also receives $2,000 from workers’ compensation, the total amount of benefits, $4,200, would exceed 80 percent of his average current earnings of $4,000. Under this example, the person’s Social Security benefit would be reduced by $1,000.

Once again, each case differs because of the varying facts and circumstances involved. However, it is important for individuals to understand generally how their disability payments may be affected by other payments, and what they can do when these types of situations arise.

Source: Social Security Administration, “How workers’ compensation and other disability payments may affect your benefits,” accessed on May 31, 2016