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An Ohio Workers' Compensation Lawyer Details How Workers’ Comp Affects Your Social Security

If you were injured on the job and are receiving Ohio workers' compensation benefits, you may be wondering if you can also receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) at the same time. The answer is yes—it’s possible to get both types of benefits concurrently, but there are important considerations to remember.

At Monast Law Office, we understand that dealing with workers' comp and SSDI claims systems simultaneously can be challenging. However, trust that our experienced Ohio workers’ comp legal team will help you manage the process so you have the greatest chance at obtaining the maximum allowable benefits from both programs.

Pursuing Both Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability Benefits

Workers' compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are separate programs with different eligibility rules and benefit amounts: 

  • Workers' compensation is a state program covering injuries or illnesses directly related to your job.
  • SSDI is a federal scheme providing assistance if you cannot work due to a severe long-term disability, regardless of how you became disabled. 

Ohio has a "reverse offset" provision affecting SSDI recipients. Workers' comp benefits (temporary total compensation, permanent total compensation, and living maintenance) are paid out first. If the combined total from workers' compensation and SSDI exceeds 80 percent of your pre-disability average earnings—known as the "monthly max ceiling"—your SSDI payment is then reduced or potentially eliminated. This continues until your combined benefit amount from both programs drops below the 80 percent threshold.

Your workers' comp payment takes priority over SSDI up to the 80 percent cap. If workers' compensation payments are less than the 80 percent figure, SSDI will pay the balance up to the 80 percent cap. With proper documentation proving the scope of your disability, as well as your earnings history and eligibility for each program, you can optimize your disability benefit amount by receiving the bulk from workers' comp first, then topping it off with the reduced SSDI payments. With proper planning and approval for both programs, you can leverage the process to maximize your benefit amount and cover your essential care needs and living expenses.  

It's also important to understand that the reverse offset applies only for Social Security Disability purposes until you reach full retirement age. When you switch over to Social Security Retirement, you may receive your full retirement benefits while temporary total and living maintenance benefits under your workers’ compensation claim may be reduced.

The rules are complex, so understanding the reverse offset provision is important for taking full advantage of all the Ohio disability benefits you have earned and deserve. With preparation and qualified help from the skilled team at Monast Law Office, you have a greater chance of obtaining a stronger combined income solution for your disabling condition.

Conditions That May Qualify for Both Benefits

Several medical illnesses and workplace injuries may qualify you for both Ohio workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits, including:

  • Chronic respiratory disorders such as severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) resulting from workplace exposures.
  • Severe musculoskeletal injuries, including back injuries, fractures, or repetitive stress conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, that lead to long-term impairment.
  • Traumatic brain injuries from accidents like falls or being struck by objects at work often cause lasting cognitive or physical impairments.
  • Occupational cancers such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure can be debilitating and incurable.
  • Cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks or chronic heart failure can be induced by work-related stress or exertion.
  • Severe mental health issues such as PTSD or severe depression resulting from traumatic incidents at work.
  • Neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, are often aggravated or directly caused by workplace environments or toxins.

How the Experienced Workers' Comp Team at the Monast Law Office Helps You

Trying to determine your allowable benefit amounts from each program can be complicated. A knowledgeable Ohio workers' compensation lawyer ensures you don't exceed the maximum yet receive the full amount you’re entitled to in your disability claim.

We’ll carefully review your workers' comp settlement or award along with your potential SSDI benefits, advising you on how the amounts interact based on the 80 percent limit. If your SSDI needs to be reduced, we’ll make sure it’s calculated properly. Additionally, if your Ohio workers’ comp claim is denied or you feel the settlement amount is too low, we’ll help file an appeal on your behalf. 

 

 

James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio