Social security is not just a system that provides benefits for people who have voluntarily stopped working after reaching the required age, but also provides benefits to people who have medical conditions that no longer allow them to work. Whether you qualify for these ‘disability’ benefits will be determined by the Social Security Administration, but the general requirements are that you:
- have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify; and
- have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death
If your disability arose because of a workplace injury, you will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Iowa law. If your injuries are very severe, you may be entitled to both workers’ compensation and social security disability (“SSDI”). However, the federal government has a policy that your monthly income (after adding workers’ compensation and SSDI) on disability cannot exceed 80% of what you made when you were working. If your receipt of worker’s compensation and SSDI exceeds 80% of your past monthly earnings, the Social Security Administration will reduce your disability payments to bring you down to that 80% level. This is known as the “offset”.
This “offset” can often be avoided, and you can collect both your social security and your worker’s compensation benefits. We can help. Contact Wertz Law Firm today for a free consultation.