Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano. Different benefits like SSD, a pension, and workers’ compensation can be combined, but care needs to be taken when approaching that situation. Working with a lawyer who knows the details of how these potential benefits interact means peace of mind that a client will benefit from available resources without potential troubles.
QUESTION: IF I AM GETTING SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY (SSD) AS WELL AS A PENSION DOES THAT MEAN I CANNOT GET WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AS WELL?
ANSWER: YOU CAN GET STILL GET WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WHEN YOU ARE RECEIVING A PENSION AND SSD.
At 55, Joe was a walking museum of every accident he had ever had in his 30 years of working the job. That last accident put him out of work for almost two years. Luckily, he filed all the paperwork, submitted all the forms, crossed all his ‘Ts’ and received Social Security Disability (SSD).
But after three decades of hard work, Joe had had enough and so he started the paperwork to retire. But he was worried. He had planned on applying for Workers’ Compensation, but he wasn’t sure he’d could since he was already on SSD and about to receive his pension. What should he do?
File, Joe! File!! The combination of Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability and a pension is called the Trifecta, a Triple Crown of benefits, so to speak. And receiving one of those benefits does not preclude receiving another. So even though Joe would be receiving SSD and his pension, it wouldn’t make him ineligible for Workers’ Compensation.
However, there are regulations around receiving these benefits in combination. For instance, Joe cannot receive more than 80% of his salary from Workers’ Compensation and SSD combined. If those two benefits added together equal more than 80%, then SSD will reduce the amount paid until the combined amount is 80% of Joe’s salary.
The good news is that the amount received from Workers’ Compensation will not decrease. When an injured worker, like Joe, considers retirement due to a possible compensable injury it can get a bit tricky. Without knowing it, a wrong form could be submitted or the wrong statement on a pension request document that could harm a Workers’ Compensation claim could be made. Joe wasn’t taking any chances and he consulted counsel so that the filling for his retirement would not have a drastic effect on receiving Workers’ Compensation.
Everything came through and Joe and his very patient wife got to enjoy some healthy, healing downtime supported by some financial stability