When a person is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the monthly amounts can affect or be affected by other benefits or amounts recovered under other federal, state, and/or private benefit policies. Of course, monthly SSDI benefits can affect a person’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.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can also affect how much a person receives under a private or employer-based long-term disability plan. The effects of disability money on each plan is different due to the fact that they are separately written contracts, but usually there is an awfully large offset for Social Security Disability benefits received and then claimant receives only a small monthly amount.
As far as workers’ compensation, some states reduce the amount of state workers’ compensation benefits provided if the claimant has been deemed disabled under Social Security Disability. 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 Social Security Disability. Tennessee does allow for language to be placed into workers’ compensation settlements and judgments to protect from a corresponding offset of Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration does not want to put a worker in a position where he earns more by not working than he would if he returned to the job pool. Therefore, the regulations contain a regulation that have a calculation that looks at total monthly benefit and reduces disability benefits if a certain threshold is met. This is commonly called the Social Security Offset and it usually applies to workers’ compensation benefits paid periodically or considered to be paid periodically.
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If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, 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 Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia.