Social Security Disability benefits can affect amounts recovered under other federal, state, and/or private benefit policies. First, amounts received under Title II can affect a claimant’s eligibility for SSI benefits under the federal statutes or can at least reduce those amounts to a smaller amount. Since SSI is a needs-based calculation, it does not matter where the assets come from so Title II benefits definitely can affect that calculation.
SSD benefits can also affect how much a claimant receives under a private or employer-based long-term disability plan. The affects on each plan are different due to the fact that they are separately written contracts, but usually there is an awfully large offset for SSD benefits received and then claimant receives only a small monthly amount. Additionally, there are provisions in some long-term disability contracts that money paid while the claimant is applying for SSD and going through the appeals process must be paid back.
As far as workers’ compensation, some states reduce the amount of state workers’ compensation benefits provided if the claimant has been deemed disabled under SSD. There is a calculation and offset that considers the amount received from Social Security and the amount to be received under the state workers’ compensation system and it is therefore correspondingly lowered. Tennessee, however, is not a state that allows for workers’ compensation insurance companies to benefit from a claimant’s SSD.
Tennessee does allow for language to be placed into workers’ compensation settlements and judgments to protect from a corresponding offset of SSD benefits. Generally, an offset applies when the combined payment of SSD and workers compensation exceeds 80% of the workers’ Average Current Earnings (ACE).
If you have questions on Social Security Disability, SSI, workers’ compensation, or personal injury, please feel free to contact our office.