In Workers' Compensation, while Tennessee law does not allow employers/insurers to benefit from the employee's receipt of SSDI benefits, it does provide a break in certain situations when the employee is receiving old age Social Security retirement benefits. Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-207(4)(A)(i), in pertinent part, states as follows:
The compensation payments shall be reduced by the amount of any old age insurance benefit payments attributable to employer contributions that the employee may receive under title 42, chapter 7, Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. Notwithstanding any statute or court decision to the contrary, the statutory social security offset provided by this section shall have no applicability to death benefits awarded to a deceased worker's dependents pursuant to this chapter.
The prohibition of the application of the old age social security offset to death benefits was made effective June 11, 2007 per amendment. Case Law in Tennessee has further fleshed out the rules dealing with offset and are summarized below:
1. Applies to PTD and PPD whole body cases;
2. Does not apply to PPD scheduled member cases;
3. Injury must occur at age 60 or after;
4. Second Injury Fund can enjoy the benefits of the offset;
5. Does not apply if the old age Social Security money is being drawn off of a spouse's earnings; and
7. Consideration must be given if employee has been self-employed and paying all of his Social Security taxes during his career.
If you need more information about a personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), Social Security Disability or SSI matter, EEOICPA claim, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.