An experienced workers’ compensation attorney with knowledge of the Social Security laws should be able to ensure you receive your full monthly Social Security Disability benefits if you settle your workers’ compensation case.
The attorney should use “Spread Language” to have your workers’ compensation settlement spread and prorated over the remainder of your life expectancy. You would still receive your workers’ compensation settlement money in a lump sum all at once, but for Social Security Disability purposes the settlement would be considered as payment over the rest of your life and not impact your monthly Social Security Disability benefits.
However, if you do not spread and prorate your workers’ compensation settlement, the government could severely reduce or even completely terminate your monthly Social Security disability benefits.
This is because of the “80% Rule”, which provides that the Social Security Administration only allows you to collect a combination of 80% of what you were earning while working and before receiving workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits.
While we often encourage our clients to pursue Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time, there are many potential pitfalls to receiving both benefits. In addition to potential having your Social Security Disability benefits reduced or terminated, Medicare’s interests must be considered, and in many instances money must be put aside to satisfy Medicare. We always recommend using an experienced lawyer to guide you through this process.
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