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Can You Receive Disability Benefits from Workers’ Compensation and Social Security at the Same Time?

If an accident or illness has left you disabled, how can you care for yourself and your family? Depending on the circumstances that led to your condition, you may have several paths toward financial recovery, which you can often use in combination:

  • Personal injury lawsuit — If you were injured due to someone’s wrongful action, you can sue to recover compensation for your financial losses and your pain and suffering.
  • Workers’ compensation — If you were hurt on the job and can no longer work, you are entitled to permanent disability payments equal to two-thirds of your weekly wages for the rest of what would have been your working days or up to age 75, with some exceptions.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance — If you have a sufficient work history (minimally five years of work in the last 10 years, for most applicants), you have a right to SSDI benefits based on your usual earnings.
  • Private disability insurance — If you have private disability insurance coverage through work or which you have purchased, you can receive benefits according to the terms of the policy. Policies tend to pay about 70 percent of your former earnings.

Workers Comp in Florida

For purposes of this discussion, let’s assume you were hurt at work when you made a careless mistake, so you can receive workers’ comp benefits, but you cannot sue outside of workers’ compensation due to the employer’s workers’ compensation immunity. We’ll further assume you don’t have private insurance, so your recovery is limited to permanent disability benefits from workers’ comp and SSDI. Can you apply for and receive both?

The short answer is yes. It’s possible for you to receive benefits from both sources. However, there are a couple of caveats:

  • Workers’ comp and SSDI have different standards for disabling conditions. It is possible you can be disabled for purposes of workers’ comp but denied SSDI and vice versa.
  • Offsets are permitted. If you’re getting disability from workers’ comp, SSDI only allows you to recover 80 percent of your former earnings. So, if the combined benefits rise above that level, SSA may take an offset and reduce the SSDI payments.

If you didn’t qualify for workers’ comp because you are a private contractor or your injury wasn’t work related, you can also apply for SSDI while pursing a personal injury lawsuit.

Every disabled individual needs to know how to maximize their benefits to minimize their financial hardship. An experienced disability benefits lawyer can help.

Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis helps injured clients in Florida appeal denials of workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance claims. Please call 561-471-2800 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, located in West Palm Beach and Stuart.

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  • West Palm Beach Office
    2001 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
    Suite 204
    West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
    Phone: 561-471-2800
    Fax: 561-471-2818
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    50 E. Ocean Blvd.
    Stuart, Florida 34994
    Phone: 772-221-8262
Verdicts & Settlements
  • "$3,200,000 -- Motorcycle crash causing abdominal injuries* Defendant who was driving a van which struck our client only had $10,000 insurance coverage. Due to the failure of the insurer to timely resolve the case we obtained a settlement of 3.2 million."

  • "$2,156,249 -- Slip & fall causing low back injuries* Defendant grocery store put out wet floor signs due to a leaking freezer. Client fell while walking down the aisle. Defendant claimed client was 100% at fault. A jury found no responsibility on the client and awarded over 2.1 million in damages."

  • "$1,550,000 -- Tractor Trailor crash causing back injuries * Defendant trucking company claimed their driver was not at fault for a crash on I-95 and blamed a phantom vehicle After a trial the jury awarded our client over 1.5 million in damages."

  • "$1,417,937 -- Car crash causing injuries to an elderly couple.* Defendant claimed the husband who was 83 years old violated defendant's right of way. After a trial the jury awarded the husband and wife over 1.4 million."

  • "$1,000,000 -- Full-size Pickup Truck striking the back of client's car* Defendant denied liability claiming they were pushed from behind into our client. The case settled after a 2 week trial, while the jury was out deliberating."