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Phone: 864-582-0416
Holland & Usry, P.A.

I got hurt so bad at work my doctor decided I’ll never work again. Will my workers’ compensation benefits affect my Social Security disability benefits?

Almost certainly, if you don’t protect yourself. You need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help protect your rights.

If you get workers’ compensation benefits, your monthly Social Security check will be reduced if the combined amount of your workers’ compensation check and your Social Security check is more than 80 percent of your pre-disability earnings.

Know this: settling your workers’ compensation case for a lump sum—a single check for all your financial benefits—won’t help you. In fact, lump sum settlements usually cause the reduction.

But there’s hope. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will know how to get the best of both worlds for you by securing your rights to a lump-sum workers’ compensation settlement and avoiding the reduction of your Social Security check. To do that, we put a clause in the workers’ compensation agreement that sets the value of the settlement as equivalent to your getting a weekly check for the rest of your expected lifespan under South Carolina law. You still get the cash settlement. The agreement just values it like you get a weekly check.

Is this artificial? Yes. Wrong? No. The South Carolina Supreme Court states these agreements further the workers’ compensation law’s “humane objectives.”

To keep from losing benefits you need, you’ve got to get it right the first time, and the clause must be worded very specifically. If you’re facing this issue, call us to help preserve your rights to your maximum workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits. Feel free to send us an email or live chat right where you’re sitting. Remember: it’s bad enough you can’t work. Don’t worsen it by shortchanging yourself and your family of benefits you need to survive.

 

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