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Can I get disability after drawing workers' compensation?

Many Philadelphia residents who need to explore getting disability benefits are in their predicament because of a work-related injury. Indeed, even when all parties involved are being as careful as possible, there are many jobs in the area that simply involve dangerous work. Workers will inevitably get hurt from time to time, sometimes seriously.

Like other states, Pennsylvania has a workers' compensation system to deal with these sorts of situations, but too often, the benefits that workers' compensation provides are simply not enough to keep an injured worker afloat financially, at least not in the long run.

Provided that he or she is otherwise eligible, a worker who suffered a disabling injury on the job can also apply for Social Security Disability benefits. This additional monetary assistance can prove to be just what one needs to remain financially stable after a debilitating accident, meaning that the victim can focus on his or her recovery.

However, there is a limitation on how much a person can receive from both workers' compensation and Social Security. Specifically, a person may draw no more than 80 percent of his or her prior average income; in order to meet this threshold, the Social Security Administration will reduce a person's benefits even if he or she is otherwise entitled to receive more.

To give an example, if a person was grossing $5,000 a month before getting hurt and then gets workers' compensation in the amount of $3,000 a month, the most Social Security will pay is $1,000 a month, since 80 percent of $5,000 is $4,000, and $4,000 is the most the person can receive in combined benefits.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee