Social security and workers compensation off set

by Steven R. Mcneely on Jun. 07, 2019

Employment Workers' Compensation Government  Social Security 

Summary: Social security and workers compensation off set

    There are three types of social security benefits:
1.    Social security retirement, or early retirement at age of sixty-two (62)
2.    Social security disability- this is drawing your retirement early because you are disabled.
3.    Supplemental security Income-financial means based (welfare)

Retirement social security does not have an offset for workers compensation benefits.  In fact the reduction stops on disability benefits once an individual reaches full retirement age. 

Supplemental security Income, does not have an offset the settlement amount could disqualify them for continued benefits because they no longer meet the financial means qualifications.

Social security disability is the one that can have the off set.   Social Security disability benefits, including benefits payable to claimant’s  family members, are added together with your workers’’ compensation or other public disability payment to ensure they do not exceed the high five or average current earnings.  A lump sum settlement of a workers compensation claim will eliminate this off set. 

Social Security gives the following example: 
Example: Before you became disabled your average current earnings were $4,000 a month. You, your spouse and your two children would be eligible to receive a total of $2,200 a month in Social Security disability benefits. However, you also receive $2,000 a month from workers’’ compensation. Because the total amount of benefits you would receive ($4,200) is more than $3,200 (80 percent of your average current earnings), your family’s Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1,000.   Your Social Security benefit will be reduced until the month you reach age 65 or the month your other benefits stop, whichever comes first.
The average current earnings are what we refer to as a the “high five” or top wage earning years or year.  This is the most an injured worker can receive from both workers compensation and social security for a month.  First social security calculates the “high five” then adds in the workers compensation benefits and then the claimant can have what is left to equal the “high five” of his social security benefits.

Note: Social security has more then once (2013) told my they do not increase monthly social security just because workers compensation pays out.  They have told me they continue the off set until there is a final resolution of the workers compensation claim.  They have told me they are having trouble recovering their overpayment.

Note: The discounted language needs to be in the original Joint Petition order:  Berger v. Apfel, 200 F.3d 1157 (8 Cir. 2000) held that SSA has no obligation to apply an amended Worker’s Comp decision which was entered for the stated purpose of reducing the
Social Security facts:
SSS does not pay dependent benefits
SSI maximum amount for SSI for 2014 are $721 for an eligible individual, $1,082 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse.
SSI only pays fRom application date forward
SSI does not have a waiting period.
SSD: does pay dependent benefits to the claimant’s minor children.   
SSD pays based on an individual’s work record, maximum a family can receive is 150% of the Primary Insurance amount.
SSD can pay retro benefits for 12 months before the application, and there is a 6 month waiting period.

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