Workers' compensation has a tricky relationship with SSD — both benefits are intended to assist financially after you have been injured, but your benefits cannot exceed the maximum amount as mandated by federal law.
The disability attorneys at Crowe & Shanahan will listen to your unique situation and address each of your concerns with personalized advice. We will then diligently pursue the total amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
To discuss how your workers' compensation claim may affect your Social Security disability benefits claim, contact one of our St. Louis workers' compensation attorneys online or call us at 314-231-6660 or toll free 877-213-7793.
Workplace Injuries Attorneys
In both Missouri and Illinois, there is a maximum amount of benefits that can be paid for any month, whether you are paid on time or due back pay. Workers' compensation is often paid before SSD benefits. Once workers' comp stops, the SSD benefits would increase to the full maximum rate.
The formula to determine the maximum amount of workers' compensation and Social Security disability combined is complicated. For most people, SSA looks at the year of the on-the-job injury and the five previous calendar years. They select the year with the highest total pay. Then they figure the average monthly pay for that year. Eighty percent of that amount is the maximum amount of benefits that can be paid per month, if you are eligible for Social Security disability and workers' compensation for the same period of time.
There is a rare exception to the formula used above, usually used only in cases where a person lost a high-paying job and then never made that much money again. The exception takes any five consecutive working years and if the average pay earned in those years is higher than the last five years, that amount is used.
An even trickier situation is when a workers' compensation case settles for a lump sum payment. On the surface, the SSD rule is they will take the weekly compensation rate set out in the settlement document — but the amount to be high enough that it could continue to reduce SSD benefits in the future. Fortunately, there is a way to write up a workers' compensation settlement so that, in most cases, future SSDI benefits will not be reduced by the lump sum. This workaround is completely accepted for use by the Social Security Administration.
These formulas also apply to disabled adults and their dependants' benefits. However, the formula becomes more complicated when children are involved.
Contact Our Workers' Comp Law Firm
To schedule an appointment with a St. Louis workers' compensation attorney from our firm, contact us today.