Can You Get Workers’ Compensation and Disability at the Same Time in Massachusetts?
When people are injured and unable to work, they can rely on social programs, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), to help them make ends meet. For some, their injuries happened while they were working. This presents a unique situation, as the injured worker might be eligible for SSDI and workers’ compensation at the same time. Many injured employees fund the process of applying for benefits confusing and are unsure which one they can apply for or if they should apply for both.
It is certainly possible and permissible to receive SSDI benefits and workers’ compensation payments at the same time in Massachusetts. This is possible if a recipient meets the criteria for both benefit systems. However, there are limits on how much money recipients can get from either source. The combined payments from workers’ compensation and SSDI could put a recipient over their legally allowed limit. In such cases, you might end up having certain benefits reduced.
If you are a disabled person who was injured while at work, you should contact an attorney about getting the benefits you need to make ends meet. Our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to schedule a free legal consultation today.
Collecting Workers’ Compensation While Also Collecting Disability Benefits in Massachusetts
You can receive both SSDI payment and workers’ compensation at the same time, but only if you meet the criteria for both. Having both forms of benefits simultaneously is actually more common than people realize because work-related injuries often lead to disabilities in workers. If you believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits, call our Boston disability attorneys for help. Our team can help you get the fullest amount of both benefits possible for your case.
Meeting the qualifications of both benefits may be difficult. Your case may be influenced by which benefits you were receiving first. For example, were you injured on the job and receiving workers’ compensation when you needed to also file for SSDI? On the other hand, were you receiving SSDI benefits when you were hurt in a work-related accident, becoming eligible for workers’ compensation?
Proving you meet both sets of criteria will be challenging because you will be questioned about working while also having a disability. Most people who receive SSDI benefits are not working or working in limited capacities. You must also make sure that you do not exceed the maximum amount allowed for your case if you do receive both payments. However, your case may differ if instead your disability was caused by your work-related accident, causing you to become eligible for both programs at the same time. In that case, you may have to not only prove your accident was work-related, but that it also caused your disabilities.
Qualifications for Workers’ Compensation and Disability in Massachusetts
For workers’ compensation, applicants must have suffered an on-the-job injury and have missed at least 5 days of work because of that injury. However, applicants must also fall within the legal definition of an “employee.” According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152, § 1, most workers are considered employees except for very few. People like independent contractors are often excluded from being considered employees.
Once you file for workers’ compensation benefits, you must prove your injuries prevent you from working and that your injuries occurred within the scope of your job duties. In Massachusetts, fault is irrelevant in workers’ compensation proceedings.
SSDI works somewhat differently and has different criteria. An applicant must prove that they are disabled. The Social Security Administration defines a disability as being unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental impairment. The disability must be expected to last continuously for at least 12 months.
A physical or mental impairment must be included on a comprehensive and exhaustive list provided by the Social Security Administration. The list is very long and contains a wide variety of physical and psychological conditions. If you are unsure if you meet the necessary requirements, call our Massachusetts disability benefits attorneys for help.
How Disability Benefits May Affect Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Massachusetts
Your total payments may be reduced depending on the amount of money you can collect from each benefits system and the amount of money you were earning before you became disabled. The total amount of both benefits combined must not exceed 80% of your average earnings before becoming disabled.
For example, if you earned $5,000 per month before becoming disabled, you can only collect a maximum of $4,000 per month. If your total payments from workers’ compensation and SSDI exceed this amount, the excess is deducted from your SSDI benefits.
It is crucial that you hire a skilled attorney who can review your workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits. If you are mistakenly overpaid, you might run into some costly legal trouble. Our Cambridge workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the maximum amount of benefits possible without exceeding the legal limits of your case.
Why Would I Need Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits at the Same Time in Massachusetts?
While it is possible to receive more than one form of public assistance or benefits, it can be tricky to navigate the legal process of applying and being approved. A person who needs workers’ compensation in addition to SSDI benefits presents a rather unique case. It is possible that you were injured at work and began receiving workers’ compensation payments before then becoming disabled. The disability would not preclude you from continuing to receive workers’ compensation payments, but it may also make you eligible for SSDI.
Alternatively, you could be a disabled person receiving SSDI payments when you are injured at work. Contrary to what many people believe, people receiving SSDI benefits are permitted to work in a limited capacity. The government does not want people to remain on public benefits forever and encourages recipients to try working if they can, to reduce their dependency on SSDI. If this sounds like your case, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation if you were injured at work. Call our Malden disability benefits lawyers for guidance right away.
Call Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you believe you qualify for workers’ compensation in addition to SSDI, contact our Somerville disability benefits attorneys. Our team can help you get the most out of your benefits. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to schedule a free legal consultation today.