If you collect workers’ compensation in North Carolina, your Social Security disability benefits may be affected. When you receive both Social Security and workers’ compensation, you may experience a reduction in your Social Security benefits.
The 80% rule
If you currently receive both Social Security and workers’ compensation, the total income cannot exceed 80% of whatever you were earning before your disability. An example of this would be if, before filing for disability, you earned roughly $4,000 per month. While you would technically be eligible for $2,200 a month in Social Security disability payments, if you also receive $2,000 per month in workers’ compensation benefits, this would exceed 80% of the $4,000 you were earning beforehand. Thus, you would only earn around $3,200 in total. If instead of receiving monthly workers’ compensation benefits, you receive a lump sum, you will need to inform your local Social Security office to find out more about how your benefits will change.
Certain benefits will not be impacted
While receiving both Social Security disability and workers’ compensation can definitely affect your monthly benefits, there are certain benefits that are never affected. These benefits include the following: Veterans Administration benefits, state government benefits, and SSI.
Report any changes to your benefits
If the amount of benefits you receive changes, contact your local social security office. Alternatively, you can go online to www.socialsecurity.gov to report these changes. If you are having trouble calculating what your monthly benefits with Social Security and workers’ compensation will be, or if you need more information for your specific circumstance, your workers’ compensation lawyer can help.