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How do workers' compensation benefits affect SSD applications?

Workplace injuries bring about many difficulties for injured workers and their families. The worst of those problems are usually financial, as workers lose income while having to pay for some, if not all, of their medical treatment. However, most injured workers in Michigan are covered by the state's workers' compensation program and they can receive cash benefits to help cover the loss of income.

Is workers' compensation enough for most injured workers? Unfortunately, these benefits only go so far because an on-the-job accident or an occupational illness can mean significant expenses for the affected worker and family members.

Can an injured worker also apply for Social Security Disability benefits? Yes, provided they have been paying their Social Security taxes through their employer. However, although an injured worker can also claim SSD benefits in addition to workers' comp benefits, workers' comp is usually higher than any SSD benefit. In addition, the eligibility criteria to receive SSD benefits in addition to workers' comp become harder to meet. In other words, workers' compensation can affect SSD benefits.

How will workers' compensation benefits affect SSD benefits? Although drawing workers' compensation program benefits can limit how much an applicant can receive in SSD benefits, it does not mean that injured workers are ineligible for them. If they present their cases with all of the necessary and requested supporting documents and medical proof to the Social Security Administration, they will more than likely be able to obtain both benefits, although the amounts may be adjusted accordingly.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Workplace injuries and the take-up of social security disability benefits," Accessed on July 10, 2015

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