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Can I get both Social Security and workers' compensation?

This blog has discussed what injured or ill Charlotte, North Carolina, workers can do if they find themselves disabled and, as a result, are unable to return to their line of work. One option they have is to seek disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

In addition to disability benefits, those who are injured or get sickened while on the job can draw workers' compensation benefits through this state's workers' compensation system. Both disability and workers' compensation can go a long way in helping an injured or ill worker stay financially afloat, even if she can no longer hold down a job on account of her condition.

Despite what one might think, a person can actually apply for, and receive, both workers' compensation benefits and Social Security disability at the same time. Each program has its own eligibility requirements which an applicant must meet, but if a worker can do so, then there is nothing stopping them from getting compensation from all available sources.

However, there are some limitations to this rule. For instance, under federal law the Social Security Administration limits the total amount of compensation one can receive through its disability program and a state's workers' compensation system combined to 80 percent of a person's gross income.

If a person's awards exceed this amount, then the Administration will reduce the amount of Social Security payments accordingly. So, for example only, if a person was making $5,000 a month before an injury, and is receiving $3,000 a month in workers' compensation, the most he can receive in disability is $1,000 a month, even if he is otherwise eligible for more money. This is because 80 percent of $5,000 is $4,000.

Handling matters like this can be challenging, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the workers' compensation and disability systems. To learn more about how the law may apply to your unique set of circumstances, please consider reaching out to a qualified legal professional.

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