Impact of SSDI on Workers' Compensation

Job Injury Lawyers Helping Claimants in Chicago Secure Compensation and Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefits program run by the Social Security Administration of the federal government. Workers’ compensation programs are state-run, and in Illinois, the workers’ compensation system is set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA). Workers who are hurt in the course and scope of employment may be eligible for these benefits, and while it is a separate program, these same workers may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers help injured employees understand the impact of SSDI on their workers’ compensation claims and benefits. We understand the financial stress that accompanies a workplace accident, and we provide personal service to our clients.

Understand the Impact of SSDI on Workers’ Compensation Claims and Benefits

Workers’ compensation is a system intended to provide temporary benefits and compensation to workers who are unable to perform their previous work duties due to a job-related injury or medical condition. Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal system of disability insurance, which supports individuals who meet its definition of being “totally disabled” from work. Injured people who may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI must meet both the requirements of Illinois workers’ compensation laws and the Social Security Administration's definition of “disabled.”

An issue faced by some injured workers who do receive workers’ compensation and federal benefits after an injury or work-related medical condition is how to maximize the combined benefits that they would receive from state workers’ compensation and federal Social Security. According to rules set forth by the federal government, there is a potential financial consequence for people collecting workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI that takes the form of a reduction in SSDI benefits.

A reduction in Social Security Disability benefits may take place in order to “offset” workers’ compensation benefits. The Social Security Administration may reduce SSDI benefits when the total benefits that would be paid according to the Social Security Act, combined with the workers’ compensation benefits, exceed 80% of the worker's average current earnings before the disability began. In other words, the monthly SSDI benefits and the workers’ compensation benefits together cannot exceed 80% of the worker’s former income. The Administration sets forth a method of calculating these average current earnings. This rule is intended to prevent workers from staying home and receiving disability benefits instead of earning wages when they would otherwise be capable of working.

Illinois law allows for a means of providing injured workers a lump sum payment for their workers’ compensation case. This is one method of potentially reducing the effects of an offset of a worker’s Social Security benefits. A lump sum settlement provides certain benefits to the injured worker, since it offers a prorated amount of a settlement spread over the lifetime of the worker. However, a settlement is not always an appropriate way to proceed, since the worker’s conditions may change over time and require more expenses than were initially contemplated.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Dedicated to Helping Chicago Workers

At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago attorneys can pursue all of the benefits available according to both state and federal laws. As an AV-rated firm, we are aware of the importance of financial security to people who have been injured or are facing disabilities that prevent them from fully returning to the workforce. Our attorneys have been protecting the rights of workers bringing claims or appeals in the workers’ compensation process for decades, and we are confident that our experience and skill can help you or a loved one recover the forms of compensation to which you are entitled. We also assist people in Champaign, Springfield, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as other areas of Winnebago, Adams, Champaign, and Cook Counties. For more information about your claim and to receive a free consultation, contact our office online or by calling (800) 444-1525.