Off The Record: TRR Workers’ Comp & SSD Concurrent Benefits
Interviewer: So, social security offsets. We know it’s possible for people to collect workers’ comp and social security disability simultaneously, but I know there were certain rules we got to abide by there, right?
Interviewer: Okay. So tell me about it.
Interviewee: Well, in a situation like that, the 80% rule comes into effect. And really what the 80% rule says is that between what you received from workers’ compensation and what you received from social security, you cannot exceed 80% of your highest year’s income in the last five. And when I say the five…
Interviewer: So how do they calculate that?
Interviewee: They look back at the previous five years, before you became disabled, and they’ll pick the highest year, you pick, you know, take 80% of that number, divide that by 12, because social security is looking at the monthly amount, and then you determine what they’re receiving from workers’ compensation per month. And you subtract that from the social security amount, if that makes…
Interviewer: Got you.
Interviewee: Okay. And then once you do that, you’ll know if there’s going to be an offset. In some situations, there’s absolutely no offset. However, if you are in danger of going over that 80%, social security will decrease, so they’ll receive the maximum in comp, and if comp goes down, then social security will go up, if you’re a subject to that rule.
Interviewer: Okay. So, I have noticed, you know, since the steady increase in the workers’ comp rates began starting in 2007, that more and more people are subject to the offset. That makes sense, right?
Interviewer: Okay. So, let’s say that, you know, you’re offset at a certain rate, and you get to a workers’ compensation hearing and the judge reviews medical records or medical testimony and says, “Okay, I had you at 800 a week, I’m reducing your payments to 600 a week.” Can you go to social security with that information and then perhaps get your rate adjusted for social security?
Interviewee: Yes. And you actually should. Any time there is a change in your workers’ compensation benefits, if you’re receiving both, you really need to let social security know that because if you get an increase and you don’t let social security know, now…
Interviewer: Oh, yeah. Since you’ve got an overpayment.
Interviewee: Yes. Now you’re going to have an overpayment. And if you should be getting more money because your workers’ compensation has decreased, you’re kind of doing yourself a disservice by not letting somebody know.
Interviewer: Okay. Well, if you have questions about social security, workers’ comp, or anything related to that, please give us a call.