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The interplay between SSD benefits and workers' compensation

A Schenectady, New York, worker who gets hurt, whether on the job or otherwise, is going to need some financial help replacing his or her lost income, especially if he or she has suffered an injury that will leave him or her out of the workforce permanently.

It would be natural for a New York worker in such a predicament to try to find replacement income from as many sources as possible. In this respect, the good news is that, so long as he or she qualifies under both programs, an injured worker can get both workers' compensation benefits and Social Security Disability for a disabling work injury or illness.

There is, however, an important caveat, which is that the SSD benefits and the workers' compensation payments, when combined, cannot replace more than 80 percent of the income the injured person enjoyed immediately prior to becoming disabled. If the benefits do exceed this threshold then the Social Security Administration will reduce its disability payments so the worker meets the 80 percent cutoff.

So, for example, if a worker grossed $3,000 a month prior to disability and gets $1,800 a month in workers' compensation wage benefits, then the most he or she can get through Social Security is $600, which comes to a total of $2,400, 80 percent of $3,000. This is true even if the person otherwise qualifies for more than $600 in benefits.

While the good news is that a Schenectady resident can qualify both for Social Security disability and workers' compensation, certain legal limitations apply which mean that it might not be possible to get maximum benefits under both programs.

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