Being injured at work can be a difficult and trying time. The relationship between Workers’ Comp benefits and Social Security Disability benefits won’t make it any easier. The interaction between the two programs will only raise more questions instead of providing answers.
To make matters more confusing, the Social Security Administration has once again changed the offset provision between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits.
What is an offset?
Briefly, let’s look at what an offset is. The Social Security Administration uses a calculation based off your earnings to create a number called your Average Current Earnings. This Average Current Earnings then determines how much you are eligible to receive total between the two programs.
Now let’s look more closely at the offset provision itself. The original provision was introduced by the Social Security Administration in 1965. Since its inception, it has gone through many variations. The most recent rule change has to do with the age that the Workers’ Compensation offset ends. Previously, at 65, the offset between the two programs would end; however, as of December 19, 2015, that age will now be your full retirement age. Full retirement age is based on your year of birth. For example, anyone born between 1943-1954 has a full retirement age of 66 years old.
How to avoid this offset
One way to avoid this offset is to file for Early Retirement Benefits anytime after the age of 62. Yet it is very important to understand the lifetime ramifications on your benefits if you decide to take this option.
We highly suggest that you consult an attorney prior to making a final decision. We at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., pride ourselves on our commitment to injured workers. We would welcome the opportunity to work through any questions you may have regarding this topic.
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Steven D. Maas grew up in Newton Falls, Ohio, and worked in the steel mills as a young man. It was there where he decided that he wanted to become a lawyer who would help working people. After earning is undergraduate degree from Ashland College and his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law, Steven has stuck to that mission by concentrating his practice in the area of workers’ compensation law over the course of his 35-year career. In addition to his legal practice, Steven serves as an Acting Judge in the Newton Falls Municipal Court, actively belongs to several bar organizations and contributes to the Diabetes Association by participating in fund-raising bicycle rides. However, his main passion is operating his family’s 250-acre farm in Newton Falls.