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Can I get both disability benefits and workers’ compensation?

Too many times, a work-related injury leaves a resident of Osceola County, Florida, permanently disabled. These injured workers not only have to deal with the physical aspects of their new limitations, they also have to figure out how they are going to carry on financially without being able to work, especially if they have others who are counting on their paycheck.

Like other states, Florida has a workers’ compensation system available to injured Florida workers who need help with expenses like medical bills and replacement earnings. However, workers’ compensation will not pay for everything and, in particular, does not cover every penny of one’s lost wages.

Fortunately, workers who have been permanently forced from the workforce because of a work-related injury can also apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. This is true even if the worker is already drawing workers’ compensation benefits, as SSD and worker’s compensation are two different programs with two different application processes and sets of requirements.

There is, however, a cap on how much a worker who is also receiving workers’ compensation can receive in disability benefits. Specifically, between both programs, a worker cannot receive more than 80 percent of the average monthly wage he or she enjoyed before the disability.

To exemplify how this works, assuming a Florida resident made on average $5,000 a month and now draws $3,000 a month in workers’ compensation, the most that person can receive in Social Security is $1,000 for a total of $4,000 in benefits, which is 80 percent of $5,000. The Social Security Administration will pay only $1,000 monthly even if the person is otherwise entitled to more.

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