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Obtaining SSD And Long-Term Disability Benefits

When evaluating a “combined” disability claim, it is important to understand how each type of disability claim impacts other claims you may have for benefits. The Georgia disability law firm of Rogers, Hofrichter & Karrh, LLC can help you with all of your claim needs, in all benefit areas. Contact our offices for a free consultation with one of our attorneys about your options for receiving benefits you may be entitled to.

You may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation, and other benefits from long-term disability, and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits concurrently. If so, then one benefit may be “offset” by other benefit(s). Here are the general rules as to which benefits offset other benefits:

Social Security Disability Benefits

The only benefit which the Social Security Administration can offset against a claimant’s entitlement to SSDI benefits is worker’s comp benefits. For low wage earners, there may be a dollar-for-dollar offset against worker’s compensation benefits. For high wage earners, there is typically no offset for worker’s compensation. When a settlement is reached in a worker’s compensation case, the claimant can spread out the net proceeds from the settlement over the remainder of his lifetime, thus dramatically reducing the amounts from being deducted from social security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration does not offset for a claimant’s receipt of long-term disability or short-term disability benefits.

Workers Compensation Benefits

An employer/insurer paying worker’s comp benefits in Georgia may take credit for disability benefits only to the extent that the employer is funding those benefits. If a claimant fully funds the premiums for disability benefits, the employer/insurer may not take any credit for paying the benefits. There is no credit/offset available for a worker’s compensation claimant’s SSDI benefits. Also, if an employee receives earned and unused sick pay, vacation pay, leave time or retirement benefits during the time when worker’s compensation benefits are being paid, the employer generally may not take credit for the claimant’s receipt of these benefits.

Long-Term Disability Benefits

Most long-term disability plans will have benefit “offset” language, allowing for a deduction of gross disability benefits if the claimant is also receiving other income benefits, such as worker’s compensation, Veteran Administration benefits, other disability benefits, retirement, third-party settlements, etc. This often includes amounts for dependent benefits in the case of SSD benefits. The two most common offsets are for SSD and worker’s comp. In many circumstances, the receipt of SSD and/or worker’s compensation benefits will completely eliminate a claimant’s entitlement to long-term disability benefits.

The disability law firm of Rogers, Hofrichter & Karrh, LLC, can help you determine the total extent of benefits you may be entitled to, and protect your disability rights. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation today.