A worker can receive both workers compensation and social security disability benefits if he/she qualifies for both. They are separate programs!
While Missouri workers compensation is a state program, social security administration is a federal program. The criteria for workers compensation are different than the criteria used to determine whether the worker is totally disabled for collecting social security disability benefits. So, it is possible that a worker will qualify for one of the programs and not the other. Let’s look at this in detail.
Workers compensation system varies from state to state. The system is designed to be temporary, providing medical benefits and financial relief to injured workers for the time they are unable to work because of their injuries. Both programs are separate entities, and receiving workers compensation benefits may not disqualify you for SDDI, not does it have any effect on your disability claim being accepted or declined.
However, there is one effect that collecting workers compensation benefits have on SSDI. The total income that you receive from SSDI and workers compensation cannot be more than 80 percent of your previous income. If the amount you receive from workers compensation and the amount you are entitled to through SSDI is greater than 80 percent of your previous income, the social security administration will deduct required amount from your SSDI entitlement to being the total under 80 percent. In case your workers compensation benefits run out while you are collecting SSDI, you should notify SSA and they will adjust the social security benefits accordingly.
It is important to note that any pensions or private disability insurance that you may have do not have any effect on the amount you receive in SSDI benefits. Your SSDI benefit amount will not be effected even if your private disability insurance payments cause your total income to be more than your previous income.
You should also note that the requirements for qualifying for disability benefits through SSDI may be significantly different from the requirements for qualifying for workers compensation benefits. You are considered disabled and therefore entitled to workers compensation benefits if you are no longer able to perform the job you were performing when you were injured. However, SSA has a very different definition of disability.
To qualify for social security benefits, you must be considered totally disabled, which means, you have to demonstrate that you are unable to perform any work you have ever done for any employer, and that you are unable to perform any meaningful work in any field you are trained for. Also, the disabling condition must be expected to last more than a year or be expected to result in death.
If you plan to receive both workers compensation and social security disability benefits, you should first discuss your case with an experienced St. Louis work injury lawyer, who will recommend you the best recourse based on state laws and your circumstances.