If you are seriously injured at work, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may also be entitled to other benefits such as Social Security. Social Security benefits are different than workers’ compensation benefits and the process of receiving these important benefits can be complicated.
Generally, if a person is unable to work anywhere as a result of a disability, he will be entitled to Social Security disability benefits and an application for Social Security disability benefits can be conducted at your local Social Security office. Typically, your workers’ compensation attorney will also be able to assist you with your claim for Social Security disability.
Social Security provides benefits for seriously injured workers and their families. To qualify for Social Security, you must show that you have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months. The impairment must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful work activity.
If you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits, there are various offsets between the Social Security and workers’ compensation laws which reduce either your Social Security benefits or your workers’ compensation benefits and you should always discuss these with your attorney.
If you receive Social Security benefits, monies that you receive from workers’ compensation may be credited against your Social Security benefits or vice versa. If you settle your workers’ compensation claim after you have received Social Security benefits, Social Security may seek an offset of the benefits it pays you against your workers’ compensation settlement payment. It is vital to take such issues into consideration prior to settling a workers’ compensation case. Typically, there will be language in the settlement agreement designed to minimize the amount of credit that Social Security may take against the workers’ compensation award.
Insurance Adjuster’s Role
If you don’t have an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim, your primary contact will be either your employer or your insurance adjuster. The adjuster’s role is to stay informed of your medical condition, working condition, and to ensure that the interests of their company is protected. As a matter of practicality, insurance adjusters are employed by the insurance company and they are not going to be able or willing to inform you of your legal options.
A good relationship with your insurance adjuster is judicious since it is likely that you have one or several adjusters working on your case. The adjuster ultimately decides when and whether or not you get benefits to which you may be entitled. The wisest move is to have an experienced attorney handle all communications with your insurance adjuster to ensure the best possible results.
Experienced Virginia Work Injury Attorneys
We have handled hundreds of workplace injuries, including injuries resulting from accidents occurring on construction sites and a broad range of other employment locations. We can get involved in your case immediately after it occurs and handle every aspect of your work injury claim.
In addition to Workers’ Compensation claims, we can determine whether any third party claims are possible based on the negligence of non-employees who may have caused your accident and injury. Call the Virginia office of Emroch & Kilduff at (804) 358-1568 to learn more about your rights today.