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Q
Can I receive workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits at the same time?

A

Workplace injuries, even minor ones, can turn a person’s life upside down. When your injuries leave you temporarily or permanently disabled, however, the effects are even more devastating. While everyone hopes for a full recovery after an injury, many New Jersey workers are left wondering—what happens if I don’t get better?

Many people are fortunate enough to have several options to supplement their income. From private benefits (like your insurance) to public benefits like workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability, it can be challenging to determine which benefit or combination thereof will work best for you and your family.

Collecting Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits Together

Because of the longevity of public benefits, many people turn to these after their private benefits are exhausted. Despite the potential long wait and hassle of receiving SSD benefits, once you are approved for SSD the benefits are steady and dependable, even in the long term. Workers’ compensation often starts up quickly, but the benefits end after a period of time—so what is the best option for you?

You may be able to collect both workers’ compensation and SSD benefits at the same time, but there is one very important rule to remember: the benefits that you collect cannot total more than 80 percent of your average wage before you were injured.

Typically, your SSD benefits will adjust to accommodate your workers’ compensation benefits. For example, say that you are receiving about 65 percent of your previous average wage through workers’ compensation. You will then only receive SSD benefits that would amount to 15 percent of your previous wage. If your workers’ compensation benefits change or end, SSD benefits will adjust as well.

When it comes to dealing with the New Jersey workers’ compensation system and Social Security Administration, having an attorney on your side can help. If you have been hurt in a workplace accident and have been told you will be disabled for a period of at least 12 months, contact me today to schedule a free consultation.

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