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Social Security disability and workers' comp can work together

When employees receive injuries on the job, they may face financial strain. Thankfully, there are programs in place to help with paying for expenses during recovery

Social Security disability and workers' compensation are two such programs. Some people may be under the assumption that people can only use one or the other; however, that is not true. They can actually work together for many recipients.

Not the same

The main reason the two benefits are able to work together is that they are not the same, and therefore, operate differently. Though they do both provide payments to injured parties, they serve different purposes. Employees pay into the Social Security disability system, and do not receive benefits until after a five-month waiting period and the SSA confirms the extent of the injury or disability.

On the other hand, employees become eligible to receive workers' comp benefits immediately, and the employer's insurance covers these. Depending upon the situation, both benefits may pay out for a specific timeframe or for life, so there is possibility for overlap.


Offset is the process of reducing a benefit to make sure that a person does not receive an overpayment, or more than 80 percent of their regular income. Various states have their own systems and handle the process differently. In the state of Michigan, offset is created by reducing employees' workers' compensation benefits. 

Working together

In some cases, it may be possible for employees to receive more from their benefits than they would their regular pay. To avoid this incentive to remain out of work, the government put the offset rule in place. This allows the systems to work together and aid employees during recovery but prevents the income from creating a dependency.

This is a brief overview of the relationship between Social Security disability and workers' compensation. Workers who are seeking to receive these benefits should take some time to review the law and consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure they get the most out of their benefits.

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  • $4,391,000: Judgment entered on Oakland County jury verdict, 2008. A Michigan man suffered traumatic brain injuries in a motor vehicle accident, which caused a permanent seizure disorder. View More results
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  • $2,360,000: Jury verdict for serious electric shock injuries sustained by client in a construction accident in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • $1,400,000: Verdict for no-fault benefits due to a traumatically brain injured client, in this Washtenaw County action against Allstate Insurance Company. View More results
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