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Workers' comp and Social Security disability benefit limits

California workers' compensation benefits can cover the consequences of work-related accidents and illnesses ranging from temporarily being unable to work through long-term permanent disability. But workers’ compensation is not the only possible source of lost income replacement and medical expense coverage that may be available in the case of an injury serious enough to lead to a disability. Social Security can also provide a disability benefit to injured workers.

This leads to the question of whether, or to what extent it is possible to collect both workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits simultaneously. The good news is that these do not pose an "either-or" proposition; you can collect both benefits at the same time.

The other news is that if you do collect workers' compensation and Social Security disability together, your workers’' compensation may have the effect of reducing the Social Security benefits that you may receive.

The number to keep in mind is "80 percent." That is the maximum percentage of your average earnings that you can collect from both of these sources. If the combination would exceed this 80 percent cap, then your Social Security disability benefits will be reduced until that cap is met. To illustrate, consider the following example:

Your current monthly earnings = $4,000 monthly

Your workers' compensation pays you $2,000 monthly

Social Security would pay you $2,200 in disability benefits monthly.

80 percent of your current monthly earnings would be $3,200; your combined benefits would total $4,200. So Social Security would reduce your disability benefit by $1,000 to meet the 80 percent cap. This would continue until you reach age 65, or your workers' compensation benefits run out, whichever comes first.

Workers' compensation benefits are not the only benefit source that can intersect with Social Security disability benefits, and the benefit limits described above do not necessarily apply to sources other than workers’ compensation. An attorney experienced with workers' compensation matters can help you to understand how all of your possible benefit sources will work together so that you can claim the maximum amount possible.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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