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Will my work comp settlement affect my social security disability?

Ridgway, IL |

I am from Illinois but worked in Kentucky where i was hurt. I am currently drawing social security disability. I am getting ready to settle with the work comp atty. As long as the correct language is in the work comp settlement will it not affect my disability? They are giving me two options, full payout or so much a week for next 8 years. Will either scenerio work with my disability payment i receive each month so that it will continue?

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Attorney answers 4


Your attorney, assuming he or she is experienced in comp claims, will make sure your benefits are coordinated with the Social Security Administration. He or she should be able to explain, in writing, exactly what's going to happen and what the total effect on you and your long-term income is. Either scenario can work, but which one is right for you cannot be answered on this little information. You need to talk to your current lawyer and get some straight answers. They're available out there.

Please be sure to mark the best answer to your question. My answers are general and do not form an attorney-client relationship. I'm happy to talk to prospective clients in my areas of concentration and geographical location.


You need to consult with your WC attorney about this. Your WC attorney should know how to work the settlement language to minimize the amount of any potential offset. If not, he or she could collaborate with somebody who does know.

How a lump sum Workers Compensation settlement affects Social Security depends on the nature of the settlement. Compensation for lost wages affects Social Security. Compensation awarded for future medical expenses or attorney fees does not affect Social Security.

Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers Compensation combined cannot exceed 80 percent of pre-disability earnings. Social Security is reduced if combined benefits exceed the 80 percent cap. A lump sum award is prorated as if it were a weekly benefit. The reduction in Social Security continues until the offset is completed or until you reach full retirement age. Alternatively, you could end the offset by applying for reduced early retirement benefits instead of disability benefits.

Generally, to minimize the effect on your Social Security it would be better to have a lump sum settlement with language that indicates the money is intended to cover the remainder of your life expectancy as opposed to the remainder of your working life only (dividing by more months makes the WC count as less per month, reducing or eliminating any potential offset of your SSD.)

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


Some basic workers compensation information is here:

There are legal ways to settle your claim and get all your Social Security too. My colleagues are corret: Talk to your workers comp attorney right away. Make sure your settlement has the correct language in there to protect you, and you should be fine.

Good luck to you.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You understand correctly. As long as your attorney includes "spread" language, there will be no effect on your benefits.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:

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