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Am I able to draw disability and work comp at the same time?

Many Massachusetts residents who get hurt or sick at work will need lots of financial help in order to cover medical bills and lost wages. This is especially true when a person has suffered a serious injury that leaves her unable to work.

After a debilitating work-related injury, a person will likely want to apply for Social Security disability benefits. These can be very helpful to a person trying to re-establish his financial stability.

In most cases, the person will also be able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits to get more help with lost income as well as reimbursement for medical and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Social Security benefits are capped if a victim also receives work comp payments

A person may receive both Social Security disability and workers’ compensation payments. However, it is important to keep in mind that these are separate programs that require a separate application process which will be reviewed under separate criteria.

Another important point to remember is that Social Security benefits are subject to a cap if a payee is also receiving workers’ compensation.

Specifically, a person may not receive more than 80% of the income she received before getting hurt or sick. The Social Security Administration will reduce the amount of the disability benefit to enforce the cap.

To give an example, if a person earned $5,000 a month before getting hurt in an on-the-job accident, and he is drawing $3,000 a month in workers’ compensation, then the most he could collect in disability would be $1,000, even if he is otherwise eligible for a higher payment. The reason is that 80% of his $5,000 is $4,000.

Even with the cap, though, an injured or ill Massachusetts worker may be able to maximize compensation by applying both for Social Security disability and for workers’ compensation.