Is there any interplay between a lump sum workers compensation settlement and social security disability benefits? Yes, there is. And your workers compensation attorney better be aware of it.
Social Security is still entitled to an offset. It is statutory, meaning, it is a legal requirement. So what is the best process to deal with a potential offset when settling a workers compensation case? Your attorney should ensure that any future offsets are either minimal or eliminated. It should be done by spreading your settlement over your lifetime expectancy. This is done through special social security offset language in Paragraph 13 of the Compromise and Release Agreement, otherwise known as the “Sciarotta Allocation.” The allocation is based on the case Sciarotta v. Bowen.
By spreading the settlement over the lifetime expectancy, it creates a much smaller “compensation rate” post settlement, which then creates a minimal offset against the employee’s SSD monthly benefit.
Failing to provide for the Sciarotta allocation could result in a great detriment to your financially. Without such language, Social Security could severely reduce or even completely terminate your monthly Social Security disability benefits. It is also base don a calculations that equates to the 80% rule that allows disability recipients to collect a combination of 80% of what you were earning while working.
Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability have complex interplay in benefits. It is important to speak to an experienced workers compensation attorney about settling your case. At Mooney & Associates, we understand. We handle both workers compensation cases and social security disability appeals. Contact us today for a FREE consultation at one of our fourteen offices located throughout Central Pennsylvania. We handle workers compensation and social security disability cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning, we collect, we get paid, we don’t collect, we don’t get paid. Call today at 717-200-HURT.