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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability and Working

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Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

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If You Get Workers Comp, Will You Get Disability From Social Security?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

If you are receiving workers compensation, there is nothing preventing you from getting Social Security disability. However, it could affect your ability to get SSI disability benefits.

The Social Security disability process is the same whether you receive Workers Compensation or not. This means that your disability claim is sent by the social security office where you filed your claim to the state disability agency for a medical disability determination (in most states, this state-level agency is called DDS, which stands for disability determination services). At this agency, your medical records and work history are evaluated to see if you meet the social security definition of disability.

If you are medically approved for disability--meaning that your condition is A) severe, B) considered to last at least 12 months or more, and C) is thought to prevent you from engaging in work activity that pays a substantial and gainful income--then you may be able to receive monthly disability benefits.

So how does Workers Compensation affect Social Security disability and SSI disability? When you apply for disability, a claims representative will get your Workers Comp information as part of their disability interview. They will ask you if you are receiving weekly benefits and/or if you have received any kind of settlement payment. If you are receiving Workers Compensation, you will be asked the amount of your weekly benefit. This is true for both Social Security disability and SSI disability. However, Workers Compensation affects Social Security disability and SSI disability differently.

SSI is a need-based disability program and therefore it is subject to income and asset limits. If your total monthly Workers Compensation benefits are more than the maximum SSI disability monthly payment amount, then your SSI claim will be denied due to excess income. Or, your SSI disability claim may be denied on the basis of excess resources if you have received a lump sum Workers Comp settlement.

While Workers Compensation benefits do not cause your Social Security disability claim to be denied, it does affect the amount of your monthly Social Security disability payment. There is an offset applied to your Social Security disability benefit if you are receiving Workers Compensation. The offset is not a dollar for dollar offset, but it does lessen the monthly amount of Social Security you receive.

If you receive a Workers Compensation settlement, your social security lawyer usually will include a “clincher” statement that prorates the settlement over your lifetime. The statement allows Social Security to pay you a higher monthly disability benefit even though you have received a lump sum Workers Compensation settlement payment. If your attorney does not include the clincher statement, or you settle without the benefit of an attorney, the settlement could potentially cause an offset that would prevent you from receiving any Social Security disability monthly payments for months or even years.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews