How To Avoid Losing Some Of Your Disability Benefits After A Work Injury
If you have been permanently injured in a work accident, you may be entitled to a workers' compensation lump sum settlement. For workers who qualify, they may also be eligible for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Being paid both benefits at the same time is possible but hurt workers should take care in how they structure their workers' compensation payments. Read on to find out more.
Workers' Compensation Settlements
Workers who are deemed permanently disabled will likely be offered a settlement. The settlement is based on replacing the workers' income because of work-related injuries. Here is what to know about workers' compensation settlements:
- Workers' compensation insurance is offered by for-profit insurers and has nothing to do with government benefits.
- The amount the worker is offered depends on the worker's age, previous salary, level of disability, and more.
- The best way to be paid what is deserved is to get a workers' compensation lawyer on the case to negotiate with the insurer for an adequate amount.
Social Security Disability Insurance
If the hurt worker meets the SSDI qualifications, they may also gain those Social Security benefits. The money comes from the worker's contributions to the plan throughout the years. It's difficult to be approved for SSDI and the monthly benefit check is not meant to cover your previous salary. However, every bit helps when you are unable to work anymore. To have these two benefits work together can take some planning.
Structuring the Workers' Compensation Settlement
When your lawyer is negotiating your settlement, the way you are paid should be part of the talks. You have the option to be paid a single lump sum or to break the payments up into regular payments. If you expect to apply for SSDI, a structured payment plan is the best way to go.
Those who opt for the lump sum workers' compensation settlement may experience what is known as an offset. The math is a bit complicated, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) can reduce the monthly payment for SSDI benefits based on the amount of the workers' compensation benefit. However, some structured payment plans can reduce the chances of that happening by limiting the workers' compensation payment paid each month.
This is a complex situation, and the work should be done before agreeing to a settlement.
Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer to learn more about dealing with an offset on your settlement.