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How Social Security Disability interacts with workers’ compensation

Social Security Disability Insurance and workers’ compensation are two programs that can provide benefits for people who are no longer able to work for a living due to an injury. Technically, a person could receive benefits from both programs at the same time. However, the total amount they receive this way would be limited.

Workers’ compensation permanent total disability

A Massachusetts worker who is injured on the job can rely on workers’ compensation benefits to help them pay for medical expenses. In some cases, they may receive disability benefits that can provide them with income while they are unable to work. If a workplace injury was so serious that a worker is totally unable to work for the foreseeable future, they may be able to collect permanent total disability benefits.

These benefits last as long as the disability lasts and can provide up to 66% of the worker’s average weekly wage.

Social Security Disability Insurance

The federal Social Security Disability Insurance program can also provide benefits for injured workers. However, unlike workers’ compensation, SSDI doesn’t require that the person’s disability came about because of a work-related accident.

The dollar amount of your SSDI benefits is based on your earnings before you became disabled.

Combining the two

You might have fantasies of combining workers’ compensation benefits with SSDI benefits to have income that’s greater than what you made when you are working, but the systems don’t work this way.

In fact, you can collect SSDI benefits and benefits through workers’ compensation or other public programs, but your total will be reduced. You can collect, at most, 80% of your average earnings from the time before you became disabled. Note that there are certain types of benefits that can be exempted from this rule.

If you have become unable to work, you need all the benefits you can get to make ends meet. Attorneys with experience in workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability help people to carefully plan and maximize their benefits.