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How does workers' compensation interact with SSDI for injuries?

New Jersey residents who have been injured while on the job may be aware that they could be eligible for workers' compensation. That program is generally funded by employers to help compensate employees who were hurt while working. As readers of this blog know, another program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is also available to individuals who miss work due to injury, as long as they have paid into the program and have a disability expected to last at least one year. As might be obvious, there is the potential for these two groups to overlap. So, how does receiving worker's compensation affect a person's SSDI benefits?

It is possible to receive benefits from both the workers' compensation and SSDI programs, assuming, of course, that an individual meets the basic requirements for each. However, there is the possibility that receiving benefits under workers' compensation may cause a reduction in one's SSDI benefits. The way this works is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will add your benefit amounts from both programs together and come up with a total benefits figure. If that figure is greater than the 80 percent of the beneficiary's average current earnings, the SSDI benefit amount will be reduced by the difference between the 80 percent mark and the total benefits figure.

By "average current earnings," the SSA means the average monthly amount the beneficiary made before he or she was disabled. The administration will use different methods of calculating this amount depending on the specific circumstances in any given case. The upshot of all of this is that a beneficiary will not receive more than 80 percent of what he or she was making before the injury in combined SSDI and workers' compensation benefits.

Making sense of the interplay of various federal and state regulations regarding different sources of benefits can be daunting. New Jersey residents who have questions about Social Security Disability for injuries and their benefit amount may wish to consider speaking with an experienced disability lawyer.

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