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If I get hurt at work, can I still get disability benefits?

When an Indiana resident has a work accident that leaves him or her unable to earn a living, one of the first thoughts that person or her family may have is how they are going to support themselves without that person's income.

Like its sister states, Indiana has a workers' compensation program for workers who get hurt on the job. While these benefits are helpful, they do not pay for everything, so a family may have to look for other sources of income to help them.

Fortunately, residents of New Albany are entitled to draw Social Security disability benefits after a work-related accident, even if they are also getting workers' compensation payments and even if their own mistake contributed to the injury in the first place. There is, however, an important caveat to this princple.

Specifically, the Social Security Administration has a rule in place that Social Security benefits and workers' compensation benefits, when combined, cannot exceed 80 percent of the person's gross wages prior to the accident with put them out of work. If the total benefits do exceed this threshold, then the Administration will reduce a person's Social Security disability payment accordingly.

By way of example, if a person made $5,000 a month gross prior to getting hurt, then the most she could receive from both workers' compensation and Social Security disability is $4,000 a month. So, if she is drawing $3,200 a month in workers' compensation, she will only get $800 a month in disability even if she otherwise qualifies for a higher amount.

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The Law Office of Nick Stein

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