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The answer is yes because they are different programs with different requirements for qualification.
Social Security disability is a federal program, whereas workers’ compensation is managed at the state level. To earn Social Security disability benefits, you must prove you’re totally disabled. That is, you have to demonstrate you’re unable to perform substantial work as a result of your disability.
On the other hand, to receive workers’ compensation, you only need to prove you were injured on the job, and you deserve to be repaid for the income you’re unable to earn because you can’t perform the requirements of your job. Workers’ compensation is typically intended to be a short-term option to provide support to workers while they are unable to work. However, Social Security disability may be something you receive for the longer term.
Receiving one does not necessarily mean you will receive the other. However, because they are entirely separate programs, receiving one does not negatively impact your chances of being found eligible for the other, either. Because the process for qualifying for compensation varies quite a bit between the two, being deemed eligible for one may not have much bearing on whether you’ll qualify for the other.
It is important to note, though, that if you receive both and your total compensation is more than 80% of your previous income, the Social Security Administration will deduct the difference so your total benefits will amount to less than 80% of what you earned previously. So, while it is possible to receive Social Security disability and workers’ compensation at the same time, doing so may decrease your Social Security disability benefits. When you stop receiving workers’ compensation, you may contact the Social Security Administration and they will readjust your benefits accordingly.
It’s important to keep all workers’ compensation payment information and include the dates and amounts of any workers’ compensation payments or settlements. If awarded Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will need this information in order to process your payments.
If you have any questions about qualifying for Social Security disability compensation, feel free to contact us anytime at 877-526-3457. One of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, fill out this form and we’ll be in touch right away.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law