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Are SSDI benefits offset from workers' compensation benefits?

Every month, many Georgia residents face financial difficulties when paying their bills. It can be hard to stretch a paycheck to meet a person's monthly obligations even when times are good, but this challenge becomes much more troublesome when a person suffers a work-related injury that leaves him or her unable to work.

Last week, this blog discussed how different kinds of benefits may apply in the situation of a person's inability to work. Among these benefits are Social Security disability benefits and workers' compensation, which are two different programs with differing eligibility requirements.

A person can receive both workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits in some cases. Indeed, statistics from the Social Security Administration showed that about 17 percent of people receiving disability insurance benefits also received some type of workers' compensation or public disability benefits.

However, there are restrictions that apply in these scenarios. Under the federal regulations, a person's disability insurance benefits are reduced when the person is also receiving workers' compensation benefits. The purpose of the reduction is to ensure the combined amount of benefits does not exceed a certain percent of the worker's average current earnings. In other words, an offset is required so the person does not receive excessive benefits from the combined programs.

The offset applies to disabled workers under the age of 65, as well as their families. However, it may not apply for other types of benefits. In addition, the offset may be calculated differently depending on how the person receives their benefits, such as whether they receive periodic benefits or lump-sum payment.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Workers' Compensation, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the Offset: A Fact Sheet," accessed on Sept. 3, 2016

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