Q&A with Workers Compensation Attorney, Tom Cummings

Question And Answers with Attorney Tom Cummings
Date: January 13, 2023

George had suffered a serious low back injury while working at an order fulfillment center and had been on Workers’ Compensation for over a year. Despite several surgeries, George’s low back was not any better and a return to work at any type of gainful employment seemed highly unlikely. After George’s work injury, he also developed other health problems including diabetes, problems with his feet as well as heart issues.

ISSUE: George was wondering whether he could apply for Social Security benefits while he was already receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits.

ANSWER: Yes, George can apply for Social Security benefits in addition to the Workers’ Compensation benefits he is already receiving. Social Security is a Federal program that provides benefits for the disabled;  Workers’ Compensation is a state program. Social Security uses a different standard and will take into consideration all of George’s medical problems regardless of whether they are work-related or not. Thus, in addition to George’s work-related low back issues,  the Social Security Administration will also consider George’s diabetes, foot issues, and heart condition determining whether George is “disabled” under the Social Security Guidelines and is entitled to Social Security benefits.

If George is deemed “disabled” by Social Security, George will be entitled to Medicare coverage commencing 30 months after the disability date. George’s monthly Social Security benefit check will be reduced by the amount of Workers’ Compensation wage loss benefits as the Federal Government gets a credit to a certain extent for those benefits.

Talk to an Experienced Worker’s Compensation Attorney

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at tcummings@dlplaw.com or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.

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.