We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Can I Apply for Disability While on Workers’ Comp?

If you are getting work comp disability benefits, you may be wondering if you are also eligible for social security disability benefits.  In short, the answer is yes but you must meet the eligibility requirements to receive both benefits. Receiving social security disability insurance (SSDI) can also affect the manner in which you collect worker’s compensation benefits. Qualified disability attorneys can help you understand if you are eligible for disability benefits while receiving workers compensation benefits and can help you through the SSDI application process if you are.

Applying for disability benefits can be a complicated process with the application asking many questions about your medical history, work history, and financial information and requiring that you provide medical evidence documenting your condition that is preventing you from working. 

Work Comp Disability Benefits

Who Should Apply for SSD While Receiving Workers’ Comp

You should apply for social security disability (SSD) while receiving disability from workers comp, if you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) eligibility requirements. To be eligible for SSD, you must have a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, longer than a year or a condition that is expected to result in death and you cannot do the work you were previously engaged in because of this condition, and it must prevent you from adjusting to other work.

These are not the only requirements for being eligible for disability. You must also meet certain work requirements and these requirements may differ from benefits for unemployed people. Generally, you will need 40 work credits with 20 earned in the past 10 years. A person can earn a maximum of 4 work credits for every year worked and a work credit is based on the amount of social security taxes you have paid in. If you meet all of these criteria, you can apply for disability benefits even while receiving worker’s compensation. 

Can I Get Disability After I Get a Workers’ Comp Settlement?

Essentially yes, you can get SSD after getting a worker’s compensation settlement, even a workers comp permanent disability settlement, if you meet all of the eligibility requirements for SSD. However, your social security disability claim benefits may be reduced by your worker’s compensation settlement. Your worker’s compensation settlement and your SSDI benefits cannot exceed 80% of your pre-disability income. This means that even if you are entitled to a larger SSD check, the SSA will reduce the check amount so that your total compensation does not exceed 80% of your pre-disability income.

Lump sum worker’s compensation settlements will also affect your SSD check, but it gets a bit complicated. If your settlement contract breaks down how much the value is worth each month, the SSA will use this information to calculate your benefits. If it is not explicitly spelled out in your settlement, the SSA will use your life expectancy to calculate your benefits.

How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for Disability Benefits?

Once you fill out the application, gather the required medical evidence, and submit the application, it usually takes the SSA around 3 to five months to render a decision about your SSD eligibility even if you are getting worker disability insurance. However, if the SSA denies your application, you still have the option to appeal the decision, and this can add time to the process.

The first avenue of appeal is known as a request for reconsideration. This is where you a different SSA employee who did not review your application initially, reviews your application for eligibility. This process usually results in 10-15% of initial denials being overturned.  If your application is again denied, you have the option to appeal the decision to an administrative law judge. It usually takes a few months to a year to get a hearing in front of the judge depending on the caseload and backlog of your region.

Talk To the Lawyer About Your Disability Case Today

If you are considering applying for social security disability benefits and are receiving workers compensation benefits, talking to a lawyer about your disability case can be incredibly important. A qualified disability lawyer will be able to explain to you the eligibility criteria of SSD and explain how disability benefits may affect your worker’s compensation benefits. They will also be able to let you know if they think you are eligible for social security disability benefits.

If so, a qualified disability lawyer will be able to help you complete the SSD application and gather the required medical evidence and other essential documentation.  And if your initial application is denied, your lawyer will be able to help you through the appeals process including in front of an administrative law judge, representing you at every turn. Having a skilled Disability Attorneys in Michigan can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that you get your disability benefits even while receiving worker’s compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive workers’ compensation if I’m already receiving disability benefits?

Yes, you can receive workers’ compensation if you are already receiving social security disability claim benefits if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for both SSD and workers compensation. However, your SSDI benefits may be reduced if you receive worker’s compensation because the SSA only allows you to receive 80% of your pre-disability income. They will calculate how much income you get from your worker’s compensation to make this reduction even if you receive a lump sum workers comp permanent disability settlement.

What if my disability worsens while on workers’ comp?

If your disability worsens while on workers’ compensation, you may now be eligible for social security disability benefits even if you previously were not. You should read the eligibility requirements and, if you think you are eligible, apply for disability benefits. A qualified disability attorney can help you understand the eligibility requirements and help determine if you are eligible. If so, they can help you through the application process, helping you complete the application, gather essential medical evidence, and work through any appeals, if applicable.

Can I apply for disability benefits if my workplace injury wasn’t my fault?

Yes, you can still apply for social security disability benefits if your workplace injury wasn’t your fault. This is because SSD eligibility is based on your condition and ability to work. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements of the SSA, you will be eligible for disability benefits. Speaking to a qualified disability attorney can help you understand the eligibility requirements and to learn if you are eligible. An attorney will also be an invaluable asset in guiding you through the application and entire process.

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