The Abrams Landau law shop was recently asked by an older lawyer who advertises himself as an injury case expert,
- Does anyone know whether Social Security gets an off-set for the money recovered by the claimant on the 3rd party negligence case?
In cases where our clients are getting state workers compensation wage loss benefits, the Social Security Administration ("SSA) reduces the monthly income payment by how much the disabled worker is getting in comp. By way of example, if a disabled worker is supposed to get $2,500 per month in Federal Disability payments, but they are receiving $1,600 in workers comp checks, the SSA will only pay $900, as they do not want injured recipients getting more money while disabled, than they were earning when healthy. The government is not keen on people "double dipping."
However, Social Security does not offset from the settlement or verdict in a personal injury case. They only do so at this time with Workers Compensation (and certain other state, local and federal disability payments). In other words, Social Security will not reduce its payments to a disabled worker because they received a personal injury settlement or verdict. Failure to follow the rules regarding state, federal and private civil claims can lead to a loss of benefits or an unnecessary reduction in payments. It is important to get experienced counsel for cases that involve Social Security, Workers Compensation AND personal injury claims. Coordinating all of the claims with an experienced lawyer who actually tries personal injury, workers compensation and Social Security Disability Income cases that arise out of a single accident can enable you and your family to maximize your recoveries and avoid running afoul of the Federal and State laws governing overlapping claims.