Workplace injuries can happen when we least expect them, leading to serious injuries that can profoundly disrupt a person’s life. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help pay for the losses that you suffered as a result of the accident.
However, if you receive Social Security benefits at the same time, there are additional factors to consider. Understanding how these two systems work in tandem is crucial to assess your financial future and options for compensation.
In Minnesota, businesses with at least one employee, including part-time workers, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage compensates employees who suffer injuries relating to their work, providing benefits for medical costs, wage replacement, and permanent disability.
Notable exceptions are employees working in private homes earning less than $1,000 in a three-month period, certain farming situations, and some instances where an employee is a family member. Additionally, some business owners, like members of LLCs, specific corporate officers, and sole proprietors, may not necessarily be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
When you receive Social Security disability benefits and suffer an injury at work, there are several important factors to consider when filing for workers’ comp coverage. If your workplace injury results in a permanent disability, you have the right to receive benefits payments for the duration of the impairment.
However, the total benefits that you receive from workers’ comp and Social Security cannot exceed 80% of your pre-disability earnings. If they do, your Social Security disability payments may be offset or lowered.
Every office calculates this offset differently. To protect your financial interests, it’s vital to keep all documentation in order and understand the potential impact on your benefits before making a claim. A Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through this process and help you better understand your legal options.
When initially applying for Social Security disability benefits, you commit to keeping the Social Security Administration (SSA) informed of any changes in earned or unearned income. Once you are awarded workers’ compensation, either as a settlement or a monthly payment, you need to report this change in income to the SSA. If you have a representative payee, he or she is responsible for reporting this income on your behalf.
Income changes can be reported to Social Security in several ways, including:
Failure to report these changes can lead to overpayment, which you will need to repay to the SSA. Conversely, not reporting income changes accurately or timely can lead to underpayment.
Dealing with workplace injuries can be daunting, and navigating through the world of workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits can be equally challenging. In these situations, it is important to consult with a lawyer who can protect your best interests and help you understand your rights and obligations.
After an accident at work, seek medical attention right away and notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible. Then, reach out to a Minneapolis workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your situation and plan your steps forward.