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Worker's compensation and Social Security Disability

If you are injured or become disabled as a result of a work-related accident, you may be able to receive worker's compensation benefits to account for your injury and the time that you will need to take off of work to recover and recuperate. In addition, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits during the time that you are unable to work.

Many people who are injured at work hesitate to file for both worker's compensation and Social Security Disability benefits out of fear that, by applying for one program, they will no longer be qualified for the other. This is not the case. Someone who receives worker's compensation can still receive SSD benefits.

There will likely be an offset in benefits in one program or the other. Your SSD benefits may be reduced by a certain amount calculated by the amount of worker's compensation benefits you receive, or vice versa depending on the applicable California law. However, you will still receive some sort of benefits from both programs if your injury or disability qualifies for both.

If you are already receiving worker's compensation benefits, there is no need to wait to file for Social Security Disability benefits. In fact, you should file for SSD as soon as possible. It may take several months for your SSD application to be approved and even longer for an appeal to be heard, so if you are able to continue to receive worker's compensation benefits during your wait time, it may help you to pay your bills and make ends meet.

Source: National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, "Frequently Asked Questions," Charles T. Hall

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