Every dollar of financial support that a person receives in light of a serious, disabling injury can be crucial. Between the increased medical expenses and limitations from not being able to work, it can be enormously difficult to make ends meet.
Thankfully, many people in this situation are eligible to pursue private and public benefits that can make this situation a little bit easier. For instance, many people with a disabling injury or illness are eligible to pursue disability benefits through Social Security as well as other programs. However, you should understand that if you collect benefits from multiple sources, your disability payments could be reduced.
Generally speaking, the amount of benefits that you receive from most public government programs cannot exceed 80 percent of your average earnings prior to your injury or illness.
This means that if you suffered a disabling injury on the job, you could collect both workers’ compensation and SSDI. But the SSDI payments you receive could be decreased if the combination of the benefits exceeds that 80 percent limit, as noted in this document by the Social Security Administration.
Not all public benefits will lead to a reduction in SSDI benefits, however. The SSA will not take into account benefits from Supplemental Security Income, benefits from the Veterans Administration and government benefits if taxes for Social Security were already deducted from earnings.
It is important to note that any disability benefits your family receives will also be considered when determining whether your SSDI will be reduced. If you, your spouse and your children all receive disability benefits, all those benefits will be included in the calculation of 80 percent if you also collect another type of public disability benefits.
This can be a frustrating process and one many people have difficulty understanding. People can be unsure of how average earnings are calculated, which types of benefits are public and which are not and how much they can actually receive through multiple sources of benefits. Any person with these or other questions about disability benefits should discuss their concerns with an attorney who can explain your rights and options when it comes to protecting the benefits you may be eligible to receive.