If you are receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits and file for Social Security disability benefits, you may not be able to collect the maximum amount of Social Security benefits based on your earnings record. Between Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability, you may only receive up to 80% of your average current earnings (ACE) in total. If the total of your Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits exceed 80% of your average current earnings, your Social Security Disability benefit will be offset or reduced.
Take this example:
- First figure out your average current earnings:
Your average current earnings is calculated either by averaging your highest consecutive 5 years of earnings or by taking the highest year of earnings in the last 5 years prior to your disability.
- If your highest year of earnings in the five years before you became disabled was $40,000, then divide this number by 12 to get your monthly earnings of $3333.33.
- Then multiply this number by 80 % (3333.33 X .80) to arrive at your average current earnings of $2666.66.
How much is your monthly Workers Compensation benefit?
- Take the amount of your weekly Workers Compensation benefit and multiply by 52, then divide this number by 12, to get your monthly workers compensation benefit.
- For example: Say you receive $400 per week in worker’s compensation.
Multiply this number by 52 ($400 X52) to get your yearly benefit of $20,800
- Now divide this number by 12 to get your monthly Compensation benefit or $1733.33.
- Now subtract your monthly compensation benefit from your ACE: $2666.66-$1733.33= $933.33. This number ($933.33) represents the highest amount of Social Security Disability benefits you could receive (using this example).
Remember that every case is different. It is very important to report all changes, in writing, in your Worker’s Compensation benefits to Social Security. It is also important to keep proof that you submitted the information to Social Security. You will also need to follow-up with Social Security to make sure they adjust your benefits as needed.
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