Will getting workers' compensation affect my SSD benefits?

When you are unable to work, the bills seem to pile up faster than usual, don't they? The rent is due, the medical bills need to be paid, the credit card debt is growing and the groceries must be purchased.

Because so many expenses tend to accumulate, it's no surprise that most people want to make the most of every opportunity for obtaining financial help and benefits. One of the questions you may be asking yourself is, "Can I still get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if I'm already receiving workers' compensation benefits?"

The answer is, possibly.

In many cases, people who are unable to work due to qualifying physical or mental disabilities can qualify for SSD benefits even if they are receiving workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job accident or injury. However — and here's the catch — your SSD benefits are likely to be reduced.

The Social Security Administration explains that it will reduce the SSD payments if the total amount of your workers' compensation plus SSD benefits equals more than 80 percent of what you were earning prior to your disabling injury or illness. To clarify, let's look at an example:

Suzie was earning $2,000 a month as a forklift driver before she was involved in a serious forklift accident that left her unable to hold any type of job. If her workers' compensation benefits plus her SSD benefits equal more than $1,600 a month, the Social Security Administration will reduce her SSD benefits.

Not all cases are clear and simple, however. If you have questions or concerns, it may be worthwhile to consult a Texas lawyer experienced in SSD law and its complex rules.