If you have been injured on the job, you may have filed a workers’ compensation claim and are in the process of seeking a settlement. This can be a great step in getting the compensation you need to recover.

However, if you also collect social security disability benefits, you may have questions. A workers’ compensation settlement provides valuable compensation after a workplace injury. But social security disability benefits also provide valuable benefits.

It is important to have an understanding of how each one works and how one might affect the other. Doing so can help you maximize your ultimate recovery.

If you have questions about workers’ compensation, social security disability, and lawsuit settlement in Missouri, contact the MO social security disability and workers’ compensation attorneys at the Cottrell Law Office today.

We can help you get the answers you’re looking for and fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve.

 

We’ll take care of everything else.

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Will My Social Security Disability Benefits Be Reduced If I Get a Settlement Check from a Lawsuit?

Not necessarily.

If you receive benefits through the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program, receiving a settlement payment from a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ comp claim will not reduce or affect your SSDI benefits. However, if you receive monthly disability benefits through workers’ compensation, those monthly benefits could affect your SSDI benefits.

If you receive supplemental security income (SSI) benefits, any type of settlement check could impact your disability benefits.

This is because SSI is considered a “needs-based” benefit that individuals must qualify for based on their assets.

Thus, depending on the amount of your settlement, your SSI benefits could be reduced.

If you currently receive social security disability, settlement may impact what you currently receive. Speak with an attorney today to discuss your situation and determine how best to move forward.

Does a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Settlement Affect Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you receive a workers’ compensation settlement payment, it is important to understand how it may affect your social security disability benefits.

Again, because SSI is a need-based benefit, any additional income or assets you come into will affect your level of need.

When it comes to SSDI, however, the extent to which a workers’ compensation settlement affects your social security disability benefits depends on whether it is classified as a lump sum settlement or a monthly disability benefit. Lump sums settlements do not affect SSDI benefits, but ongoing workers’ comp disability benefits do.

Typically, Social Security dictates that your combined workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits can’t exceed 80% of the average income you earned when you were working.

To illustrate, imagine that your regular income before your disability was $2,500 per month, your workers’ compensation disability benefits are $1,400 per month, and your SSDI benefits are $1,600 per month. SSDI won’t let you collect more than $2,000 per month (80% of $2,500).

Therefore, SSDI will use the workers’ comp benefits to offset what you could have received from Social Security. As a result, your SSDI benefits will decrease to $600 per month.

How Can I Minimize the Impact of My Social Security Disability Settlement on My SSDI Benefits?

Even if you do receive a disability benefit from workers’ comp, however, there are ways to potentially reduce a workers’ compensation settlement’s impact on your social security disability benefits.

In Missouri, a workers’ compensation settlement agreement can be drafted to help minimize the impact of the settlement. You can do this by adding an amortization provision to the original written settlement agreement. With this approach, your workers’ compensation disability benefits are classified as a lump sum settlement to be paid out over a certain period of time, rather than a monthly benefit to be paid out indefinitely. The downside is that you can’t go back to your workers’ comp insurer and ask for further disability benefits once the payments run out. But you can avoid the SSDI offset.

An experienced workers’ comp and social security disability attorney can help ensure that this type of language is added to your settlement agreement. They will examine all of your potential benefits and help you draft an agreement that maximizes your total recovery.

Do I Have to Report a Lump Sum Settlement to Social Security in Missouri?

The short answer is yes.

As soon as you accept a lump sum settlement, it is imperative that you report the settlement to Social Security. Because SSI benefits are income and asset-based, any lump sum settlement you receive may impact your benefits. Thus, you should report any settlement to your caseworker as soon as possible.

In fact, you must report anything that could affect your eligibility for social security disability benefits.

Examples of other changes you must report include changes in:

  • Living arrangements,
  • Income, and
  • Assistance with living expenses.

You must report a settlement or any other changes that could affect your SSI no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the payment was received or the change occurred.

Knowingly failing to do so could result in sanctions against your payments. This could result in withholding of disability payments for as little as 6 and up to 24 months.

Our Results for Those with Missouri Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security attorney Wesley Cottrell of the Cottrell Law Office has helped countless clients get the representation they need and deserve.

Some of the results we have helped achieve include workers’ compensation settlements and verdicts in Missouri for:

  • $450,000;
  • $240,000;
  • $206,000; and
  • $200,000.

While we can never guarantee the same or similar results in any given case, we do have a reputation for success. We will always strive to get the best results for our clients that we can.

If you are looking for strong legal representation in your Social Security or workers’ compensation case, contact our team today to see what we can do for you.

How a Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help

Dealing with a workplace injury can be painful and stressful. While filing a workers’ compensation disability claim can be a great place to start, it may not provide you all the compensation you need if you can no longer work. In many cases, you will also want to pursue SSDI benefits and do so in a way that will maximize your combined benefits.

We understand that you may have many questions. A social security disability lawyer can be a great asset to you and your case.

Examples of ways in which a social security disability attorney can help include:

  • Reviewing and analyzing your claims;
  • Negotiating workers’ compensation settlements;
  • Helping you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits; and
  • Drafting settlement agreement language in your favor.

In short, an attorney can be an advocate in your corner who will help you fight for your rights.

Handling a workers’ compensation or social security disability settlement can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. An attorney who handles these types of claims for a living can be a great asset to help you get the compensation you need.

Contact Us

If you have questions about Missouri workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability and are in need of legal representation, look no further than Wesley Cottrell and the Cottrell Law Office.

Wes Cottrell has been helping clients in need for over 32 years, and he is ready to help you too.

At the Cottrell Law Office, you will receive top-notch legal representation.

But more than that, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the personal attention, compassion, and advocacy they deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and see how we can help.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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