Yes, but not exactly how you might think. While many people who are injured at work will be able to reenter the workforce in a short time, some will suffer temporary or even lifelong disability.
Employees who claim Florida workers’ compensation usually apply for Social Security disability benefits when they discover their injuries are permanent.
However, there just because you apply for both forms of compensation doesn't mean you'll be “doubling” your benefits.
Problems with Getting Both Social Security Disability and Workers' Comp
There are many areas of overlap in these two major benefit programs.
Workers’ compensation is issued by Florida state law to give temporary wage loss and medical benefits to injured employees.
Social Security disability insurance is a federal program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides payment to workers whose conditions prevent them from earning a sustainable living.
Although it's possible to collect multiple forms of benefits at the same time, the total amount you receive may be reduced due to:
- State laws. Unlike some other states, Florida workers' compensation laws prohibit injured workers from collecting temporary total disability or permanent total disability for any weeks where the claimant received re-employment assistance or unemployment benefits.
- Offsets. Florida law actually requires all permanent total disability claimants to apply for Social Security disability. If you're approved, the insurer who provides your workers' compensation insurance will likely reduce its payments. This places the burden of the employee’s injury on the state rather than a private insurer. This offset ends when the employee’s workers’ compensation payments end or when the employee reaches full retirement age.
- Settlements. If you secure a lump-sum settlement for your workers’ compensation claim, the amount you're given is still subject to offsets. Since there are limits on the amount of total public disability benefits you may receive, the SSA considers the amount of your settlement when calculating your disability benefits. It also reduces your disability payment if you're receiving other forms of benefits, such as civil service disability or government-issued disability or retirement.
The amount of income you receive each month varies widely depending on the type of benefits you collect. It's important to consult an attorney who can maximize your compensation. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a consultation with our Social Security attorneys at no cost to you.