Written by attorney Ronald Lee Calhoon

Can I receive PA Workers' Compensation Benefits and Social Security Disability (S.S.D.) ?

Yes. If you have had a work injury, which, by itself or in combination with another disability, causes a physical or mental impairment that will likely continue for one year or longer, there are, in fact, several good reasons for seeking both types of benefits.

Eligibility for both Workers’ Compensation and SSD benefits is a win-win situation. In addition to eligibility for Medicare Health Insurance coverage, Social Security allows you to receive combined Social Security Disability (SSD) and Workers’ Compensation benefits up to 80% of your pre-disability Average Current Earnings (ACE). The receipt of SSD benefits will NOT reduce your workers’ compensation benefits. SSD usually will still pay monthly benefits representing the difference between the Workers’ Compensation benefits received and the 80% ACE amount. SSD provides a supplemental income source for injured workers who are only receiving two-thirds or less of their prior earnings through Workers’ Compensation. If you are a particularly high wage earner, you may be entitled to payment of Workers’ Compensation benefits at the maximum statutory rate and the maximum SSD benefits without any offset.

Also, if you settle your Workers’ Compensation case, you may be eligible to receive a substantial lump sum payment and when done properly, the settlement can usually increase the amount of the SSD benefits you receive. Therefore, if you are on WC and expect to be disabled for at least 12 months, it is advisable that you apply for SSD as soon as possible. You canreceive both benefits at the same time subject to the “offset" rule explained above.

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