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How Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can Offset Social Security Benefits
When an employee in Maryland has a compensable Workers’ Compensation claim, he or she may be entitled to several forms of benefits under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. Such benefits include: temporary total or partial disability benefits, permanent total or partial disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and payment of causally related medical expenses. Monetary benefits, also known as “indemnity benefits,” are generally paid weekly in an amount based upon the employee’s average weekly wage.
Although an injured worker is entitled to lifetime medical treatment, the injured worker may choose to close his or her case by way of an Agreement of Final Compromise and Settlement. In such cases, certain documents have to be filed and approved by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. It is important that any attorney representing an injured worker in Maryland be aware of all the issues involved with settling a Workers’ Compensation claim.
One important issue involves the relationship between Social Security Disability Benefits and Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Federal Social Security laws create a maximum amount of combined benefits an individual may receive. In other words, if an individual receives both Workers’ Compensation benefits and social security disability benefits, there is a maximum limit of the combined benefits. The rule of determining the maximum limit is often referred to as the 80 Percent Rule. Any benefit above the maximum is offset, resulting in a reduction of the Social Security Disability benefit.
The attorneys at Jenkins, Block and Associates, P.C., work with our clients to try to avoid the offset whenever possible. For example, we include language in our Workers’ Compensation settlement documents designed to either avoid or minimize the offset. Even if an injured worker is not receiving Social Security Disability benefits, our attorneys recommend including offset avoiding language is settlement documents as a safeguard against possible offsets in the future. Contact Jenkins, Block & Associates, P.C., with your Social Security and/or Workers’ Compensation questions.
We have four offices across Maryland and Virginia with trained legal professionals ready to assist you. Please CALL US at 1-800-243-2439 to be directed to the closest Jenkins Block & Associates location to you.