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Blunt force trauma, workers compensation and SSDI benefit

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “I work in construction. I had a large pile of bricks fall on my head on the worksite. I now find that I am unable to work. I know I will receive some type of workers’ compensation benefits for my injuries, but if I am not able to go back to work can I also apply for long-term disability like Social Security Disability Insurance?”

What is blunt force trauma?

Blunt force trauma to the head can be caused by any number of factors- car accidents, slips and falls, bicycle accidents, and physical altercations. Blunt force trauma to the head, more often referred to as traumatic brain injury, is also one of the most common causes of death. Even if a blunt force trauma does not kill you, however, it can cause confusion, seizures, mood swings, the inability to concentration, lethargy, aggression or a disruption in your sleep habits. Can I get SSDI benefits? If you have been injured at work performing your normal job duties there is a strong chance that you will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your disability is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and does not allow you to return to work, you may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is paid out by the federal government and administered through the Social Security Administration.

What do I need to know about receiving both SSDI and workers’ compensation?

If you have been injured at work it’s important to first consult with your employer to find out what benefits you may be entitled to receive. If your are receiving workers’ compensation and your condition is expected to last for at least a year you can apply for SSDI benefits at anytime, assuming you are not working and making too much money and you are 100% disabled. It’s important to understand, however, that if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits you will not be entitled to the full amount of SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. The Social Security Administration will, instead, calculate your new benefit or workers’ compensation “offset” benefits. Although the actual calculation the SSA uses to determine your offset can be a bit complicated and can vary based on factors such as your state’s workers’ compensation program, the maximum amount of workers’ compensation paid out in your state, the types of workers’ compensation benefits you are currently receiving, and how you settle your work comp case, in general, your monthly benefits will be reduced so the benefit payout you receive for both programs will be approximately 80% of your full-time employment earnings. When should I apply for SSDI benefits? Another consideration, if you are seriously injured, is when you should apply for SSDI benefits. You can only apply for SSDI if the following are true: your condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, you have enough credits to be insured for SSDI benefits, and you 100% disabled. Bottom Line: You may qualify for both workers’ compensation and SSDI if you are injured at work. If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits, however, you may need to talk to someone familiar with SSDI and work comp laws in your state to find out how your SSDI benefit may be offset. Recent article: SSDI denial why can't I just file another claim?