Interplay Between Workers Compensation and Social Security

Date: March 8, 2011
Posted In: DLP Law

                Paul had sustained a serious back injury while working and had been on Workers\’ Compensation for over one year. Despite several operations, Paul\’s back was not better and to return to work at any type of gainful employment seemed unlikely. After Paul\’s injury,  he had developed other problems involving his shoulder as well as heart issues.

ISSUE:          Paul was wondering whether he could apply for Social Security since he was already receiving Workers\’ Compensation benefits.

ANSWER:     Yes. Social Security is a Federal program that provides benefits for the disabled and Workers\’ Compensation is a state program. Social Security uses a different standard and will take into consideration all of Paul\’s problems regardless of whether they are work related or not. Thus his heart condition and his shoulder condition will also be considered in determining whether Paul is entitled to Social Security benefits.

            If Paul is deemed eligible back to the date of his work injury for Social Security, Paul will entitled to Medicare coverage on his non-work related medical bills as well. Paul\’s monthly Social Security check will be less since Paul is collecting State Workers\’ Compensation benefits as the Federal Government gets a credit to a certain extent for those benefits.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.