Friday, April 15, 2011

Can I Receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and MN Workers’ Compensation at the Same Time?

People who sustain serious injuries at work in Minnesota may be eligible for BOTH workers’ compensation wage loss benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In other cases, a work injury, in combination with other non-work related medical conditions may qualify an injured worker for both SSDI and Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits.

If you are pursuing a SSDI disability claim, based in whole or in part on a work injury or a medical condition caused by your work activities, you should strongly consider exploring a Minnesota worker’ compensation claim as well.

We routinely meet folks in our Minnesota workers’ compensation practice who pursue a SSDI disability claim and overlook their potential workers’ compensation claims. In many instances, you can receive both! Don’t leave money sitting on the table!

The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows simultaneous receipt of medical and disability benefits with workers’ compensation benefits, up to a maximum of 80% of the employee’s average current earnings (ACE) at the onset of his or her disability. The Social Security Administration will, however, “offset” or reduce SSDI payments if the combination of workers’ compensation and social security benefits exceed 80% of the ACE.

If you are receiving Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits, the employer/insurer does not get an offset from workers’ compensation benefits payable based on receipt of SSDI benefits. Instead, the SSA gets to reduce your SSDI benefits based on the amounts you’re receiving from workers’ compensation.

The situation changes if you’re receiving Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. Minn. Stat. § 176.101, Subd. 4, permits the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to reduce the weekly compensation benefit dollar-for-dollar based on the receipt of SSDI benefits after paying $25,000.00 in Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. The employer/insurer only gets the benefit of this offset if the SSDI benefits and the workers’ compensation benefits are based on the same injury or injuries.

If the injury causing your disability occurred before October 1, 1995, you may be eligible for “supplementary benefits” to cover the “gap” between your weekly benefit rate after adjusting for the receipt of SSDI benefits, and the minimum PTD benefit rate.

For injuries on or after October 1, 1995, the Minnesota legislature did away with supplementary benefits. Instead, the legislature has adopted minimum PTD rates. The amount of your monthly SSDI benefit is then subtracted from your compensation rate, or the minimum PTD rate, whichever is higher.

Annual adjustment of benefits may also come into play in PTD claims.

In many cases, you can receive both Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits, and Social Security Disability benefits. As you can see, correctly calculating your benefit rate when you’re receiving both types of benefits is complicated.

If you’ve applied for Social Security Disability benefits based in whole or in part on injuries you sustained at work, you may have a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim in addition to your SSDI claim.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with Jennifer Yackley or Ronald F. Meuser, Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers, to discuss your potential workers’ compensation claim, call us at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means our attorney fees are based on the amount we recover on your behalf. It also means that there is no fee unless we recover benefits on your behalf.


  1. Which one has the higher payout and which benefits are more likely to be terminated?


  2. Thanks for your question. Each case varies. Some people are eligible for more in terms of workers' compensation benefits, and some people are eligible for more in SSDI benefits. Generally speaking, SSDI benefits are payable for a longer period of time, and in my opinion, you're more likely to run into disputes over your workers' compensation benefits than your SSDI benefits.


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