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Can I get both workers’ comp and SSD benefits?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, a Charlotte worker who gets hurt on the job and winds up with a permanent disability as a result may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for her injuries.

Because it was a work-related injury, these workers may wonder if they can also draw benefits through North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system if they get disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, as workers’ compensation may also compensate a disabled employee for her work-related injury.

The answer to this question is “yes,” but with an important limitation. Under the Administration’s rules, a recipient of SSD who is also drawing workers’ compensation can, between the two benefits, only make 80 percent of her average gross wage before the injury. If the benefits total more than this threshold, the Administration will reduce the person’s Social Security payment so the 80 percent cap is met, even if the recipient is otherwise entitled to more.

So, by way of an example, if a person was making an average of $4,000 a month before her injury, and she is getting $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation, then the most she can get in disability benefits is $1,200 a month, even if she is otherwise entitled to more. This is because $3,200 is 80 percent of $4,000.

Still, even with this limitation, an injured North Carolina worker is going to want to get as much financial help as she can after suffering a debilitating injury. After all, the victim is going to have to figure out how to pay bills and make ends meet without being able to earn a steady income on her own. It is therefore probably worthwhile to apply for disability benefits even if the worker is already receiving workers’ compensation.

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