Am I Eligible For Workers’ Compensation If I Am Receiving SSDI Benefits?
If you sustain a serious injury at work in or around Sunrise, Florida, or you are diagnosed with a debilitating occupational disease that prevents you from working, you will likely be seeking workers’ compensation benefits to provide you with compensation for your medical bills related to the work injury or disease, as well as compensation for lost wages due to the debilitating nature of your injury or disease. The Florida workers’ compensation system allows an injured worker to seek benefits even when their injury is not expected to last for an extremely long period, and in fact you can seek benefits as long as your injury is going to last 8 days or more in most cases (although you will not begin receiving benefits until the eighth day). Yet in situations where an injury is expected to last for a very long time or to permanently prevent the injured worker from engaging in any future work, that worker might also be seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
If you are in this situation, you likely want to know: am I eligible for workers’ compensation if I am receiving SSDI benefits? Our experienced Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys want to explain how workers’ compensation benefits relate to SSDI payments. In short, you certainly can seek workers’ compensation benefits if you are also planning to file for SSDI benefits, but your SSDI benefits could be reduced based on the amount of workers’ compensation you receive.
Workers’ Compensation Will Come First for On-the-Job Injuries
When you are planning to seek workers’ compensation benefits for an injury you suffered at your place of employment or following an occupational disease diagnoses, the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation typically allows a person to obtain workers compensation benefits for up to 104 weeks as long as the injured workers is not able to work during that time. Generally speaking, 104 weeks is about two years. If you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation payments for an extended period of time like this, you might also be planning to apply for SSDI benefits.
In situations where you are eligible to receive both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits, the workers’ compensation payments will come first to provide you with compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Then, based on the total amount of workers’ compensation benefits you are receiving, your SSDI benefits could be reduced from the amount you would otherwise receive if you were not receiving workers’ compensation in addition to the disability payments.
How Your Benefits Could Be Reduced
You should know that you will not be able to obtain SSDI benefits unless your injury is expected to last at least one year or to result in your death. If you do meet that requirement and the other requirements for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSA is clear that, “if you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits, AND Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of these benefits can’t exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled.”
Rather than reduce your workers’ compensation payments, your SSDI payments will likely be reduced if a reduction is necessary, but you can receive both types of benefits at the same time.
Contact Our Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you need assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, a South Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today.