You were hurt while on the job. After filing a workers’ compensation claim and waiting during a lengthy process, you finally have a settlement that covers your medical bills and lost income. However, now you worry if your workers’ compensation settlement will affect your Social Security retirement benefits.Workers’ compensation can result in a reduction of Social Security benefits if your settlement and benefits exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings. A lawyer from our firm may be able to help you recover workers’ compensation and apply for Social Security benefits.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance that employers must provide their employees, according to LAB § 3700. It prevents employers from being subject to a lawsuit by an injured or sick employee. Instead, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover compensation for damages, such as medical bills and lost income.
After you submit your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s claims administrator will review it and approve or deny it. If the claims administrator denies your claim, you can request to have your case heard by a judge at a hearing. Here, you and your lawyer have the opportunity to present evidence supporting your claim.
What Is Social Security?
Social Security is a social safety net program that American workers have been paying into since its creation by the Social Security Act of 1935. The program provides monthly income to qualifying retirees and those with disabilities.
Employers and employees pay a percentage of their wages through the federal payroll tax, which funds the Social Security trust through which payments are made.
Can You Receive Both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Benefits?
Yes, you can receive workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits at the same time. You can also return to work while receiving Social Security Disability benefits.
A lawyer from our firm can put your fears to rest if you worry about receiving a workers’ compensation settlement and collecting Social Security benefits at the same time after filing a claim.
Does Workers’ Compensation Impact Your Social Security Retirement Benefits?
Your workers’ compensation could impact your Social Security benefits. If the amount of your workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits exceed 80 percent of your average income, you will likely see a reduction in your Social Security benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), if your average monthly income is $4,000 and your combined workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits add up to $4,200, you would exceed 80 percent or $3,200 of your income. You would see a reduction in your Social Security benefits by $1,000. This reduction will be recurring until you reach full retirement age or your other benefits cease.
Determining How Workers’ Comp Will Affect Your Social Security Benefits
Understanding how your workers’ compensation will affect your Social Security benefits gives you the ability to prepare for a potential reduction and plan your finances accordingly. Simply take your monthly income and figure out what 80 percent of it is. Then add up your monthly workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits to see if the total exceeds it.
A lump sum workers’ compensation settlement can also reduce your Social Security benefits unless it’s a lump sum under the Veterans Administration, a private pension, or Supplemental Security Income.
If you require further assistance, a lawyer from our firm can help you determine if your workers’ compensation will impact your Social Security benefits and how much of a reduction you face, if any at all.
Do You Have to Report Income Changes to Social Security?
You must report income changes to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or via the SSA website. Submitting a pay stub or letter informing Social Security of the change should suffice.
If you fail to report your income change to Social Security, you could end up owing money back, known as an over payment, which you would have to pay back every month. You could also receive an underpayment if you don’t report making less income.
We strongly recommend reporting accurate changes to your monthly income to Social Security to avoid over payments and underpayments.
How Can a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Help You?
You may not be certain how your workers’ compensation will impact your Social Security benefits. You may face denials of either application, and both systems can be challenging and frustrating to navigate on your own, especially if this is your first time filing for either. Perhaps you may benefit from assistance filing a workers’ compensation claim or filing for Social Security.
Our workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file for both. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your lost income and medical bills by investigating your case, calculating the value of your claim, negotiating a fair settlement, and filing a lawsuit if it becomes necessary.
If your workplace injury leaves you unable to work, you may qualify for Social Security benefits. You spent years paying into Social Security. It should be there for you when you need it. Our firm wants to help you recover the workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits you deserve. We will determine if your settlement will affect your Social Security benefits so you can plan around a potential reduction.
Learn More About How Workers’ Compensation Affects Social Security Benefits Today
Getting hurt at work creates a sense of uncertainty for you and your family, so you need workers’ compensation to cover your losses. It only takes one injury to cause a fall into financial ruin. Together, workers’ compensation and Social Security can prevent this fall from occurring.
At KJT Law Group, we handle workers’ compensation cases, and we are happy to answer your questions and evaluate your case when you are ready to talk to us. Contact us at (818) 507-8525 today for a free consultation.