Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation and Retirement?
Yes, you can receive Social Security retirement benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time if you are at least 61 years and eight months of age. Before that age, you are not eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits.
Workers’ compensation and retirement are separate programs that can be confusing to apply for simultaneously. They are administered by different government agencies and have different rules for qualification. You will have to meet the eligibility requirements for both programs to collect benefits from both. Also, you might get taxed on some of your benefits if you collect workers’ compensation and retirement benefits.
How To Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ compensation program offers benefits to workers who get hurt or develop illnesses because of their jobs.
An Overview of Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Requirements
The purpose of the workers’ compensation program is to help people who get hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that you will not have to prove that your boss was negligent and caused your injury or illness. Here are some of the essential things that you need to know about filing for workers’ compensation:
- Your injury or illness must have been job-related. That usually means that you got hurt on the job while performing your work duties. Typically, workers’ compensation does not cover events that happen when commuting to or from work or when on a meal break.
- Although you do not have to prove that your employer’s negligence caused you to get hurt, your injury must not have been self-inflicted to be eligible for coverage.
- You must follow the rules of the program. These may include reporting the injury promptly and in writing, getting medical treatment from a healthcare provider approved by your employer, and completing your prescribed medical treatment.
You can dispute a wrongful denial of benefits or a miscalculation of your benefits.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are typically a few categories of workers’ compensation benefits you can recover. These include:
- Medical care. Your employer typically must pay for the healthcare services you needed for a covered job-related injury or illness. When you use the medical providers on your employer’s approved list, the provider should bill your employer directly, rather than charging you.
- Temporary disability benefits. This benefit sends you a check for a portion of your usual earnings when your medical condition prevents you from working, and your employer does not offer you a different job that you are capable of performing while you recuperate. These benefits end when you are able to return to your job.
- Permanent disability benefits. You may qualify for benefits if you are permanently disabled because of an injury you sustained on the job. An attorney can explain the specifics of qualifying for permanent disability benefits.
- Death benefits. When a worker dies from a job-related illness or injury, the surviving dependents might be eligible to receive death benefits from the workers’ compensation program.
You could receive medical benefits and weekly cash benefits whether you got hurt in a single accident or developed problems over the course of repeated exposures to chemicals, repetitive motions, or ongoing environmental factors like loud noises or vibrations. Also, in some situations, a job can cause stress-related conditions.
The Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Retirement Benefits
There are multiple ways to qualify for retirement benefits through Social Security, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You might be eligible because of your own work record or because of the work record of your current spouse or a former spouse.
The SSA will analyze:
- Your work record. You must be 62 or older and have worked for at least 10 years at jobs that paid Social Security taxes.
- The work record of your current or former spouse. You might be eligible for additional retirement benefits based on the work record of your current spouse or a former spouse, even if you worked for at least 10 years and paid Social Security taxes. Also, you might be able to get retirement benefits if you did not qualify based on your own work record, as long as a spouse did qualify based on their work record.
This information is merely a brief overview of the requirements to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. The eligibility requirements will vary depending on whether you are divorced, widowed, or currently married. An attorney can explain any other factors that may affect your eligibility for retirement benefits.
Taxation Issues If You Collect Both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Retirement Benefits
People who collect both Social Security retirement and workers’ compensation benefits might get hit with two adverse financial consequences. They might not receive their full amount of retirement benefits, and part of their benefits could get taxed.
IRS Publication 525 – Taxable and Nontaxable Income explains that when the individual’s Social Security retirement benefits get reduced because they also receive workers’ compensation checks, the IRS will treat the offset portion as Social Security, which could make that money taxable. You would have to include those workers’ compensation benefits when filing your taxes for the year.
An Attorney Can Help You File for Workers’ Compensation and Retirement Benefits
If you plan to file for workers’ compensation and retirement benefits, you may want the guidance of an experienced lawyer. A lawyer can help you by:
- Explaining whether you qualify for benefits
- Appealing denied claims
- Helping you gather the documentation you need to submit a claim
- Explaining how the workers’ compensation and retirement programs work in your state
- Answering any questions you have
It can be difficult to apply for workers’ compensation and retirement, especially when you want to pursue both benefits simultaneously. Luckily, you do not need to go through this process on your own.
Getting Help With Your Workers’ Compensation and Retirement Benefits Questions
KJT Law Group can answer your questions about whether you can collect both workers’ compensation and Social Security retirement benefits. They can handle your disputes if you disagree with a decision the government agency made about your application for benefits. You can contact us today to get started. We offer free consultations when you contact us at (818) 507-8525.