In addition to workers' compensation
benefits, you may also be entitled to other benefits, such as Social Security.
Social Security benefits are different from workers' compensation benefits. In
order to receive Social Security benefits, an individual must show that he has
a disability which is total in nature and that total disability is expected to
last for at least a year or more. Periods of temporary total disability which
are shorter than a year will not qualify an individual to receive Social
Security disability benefits.
Generally speaking, if a person is unable
to work anywhere anyhow as a result of his disability, he will be entitled to
Social Security disability benefits. You should apply for Social Security
disability benefits at your local Social Security office. Usually, your
attorney in your workers' compensation case will also represent you in your
claim for Social Security disability.
If you are entitled to Social Security
disability benefits, there are various offsets between the Social Security and
workers' compensation laws which reduce either your Social Security benefits or
your workers' compensation benefits.
Social Security provides benefits for
seriously injured workers and their families. To qualify for Social Security,
you must show that you have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment
must be expected to last at least 12 months. The impairment must prevent you
from doing any substantial gainful work activity.
If you receive Social Security benefits,
monies that you receive from workers' compensation may be credited against your
Social Security benefits or vice versa. If you settle your workers'
compensation claim after you have received Social Security benefits, Social
Security may want an offset of the benefits it pays you against your workers'
compensation benefits. It is very important that you take this into
consideration before you settle your workers' compensation case. There is
language that is designed to minimize the amount of credit for Social Security
you may take against the workers' compensation award.