Nothing in Florida statutes automatically prohibits an injured employee from receiving workers’ compensation and Social Security retirement benefits. While recovering both is possible, doing so could impact the full amount you are entitled to receive. There are limits on the total amount you can recover from both programs based on your average wages prior to your injury.
Trust our team at Kogan & DiSalvo to guide you through this often confusing process. Schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm to answer your questions and help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Qualifying for retirement
Your eligibility for retirement benefits through Social Security is based on a few factors. First and foremost, you will need a history of working and paying taxes into Social Security. Those payroll deductions will determine the extent of the benefits available to you.
In addition to qualifications related to your earnings, there are also requirements based on your age. You must be at least 62 years of age to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration.
If you retire at 62, you will only be entitled to partial retirement benefits. For full benefits, you will need to work until your full retirement age—or FRA. Your FRA varies depending on when you were born. Someone born in 1956 is eligible when they are 66 years and four months old. If you wait until your full retirement age, you can qualify for the full amount.
Qualifying for workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits are different. There is no age requirement, and benefits are not based on your average wages throughout your career. Instead, the amount of benefits you are entitled to recover depends on what you were earning at the time of your injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits primarily cover two specific losses: your medical expenses and lost wages. It pays for the full cost of your medical treatment, no matter how long it takes. However, your benefits based on your lost wages are a percentage of your regular salary.
How the two programs interact
If you qualify for both workers’ compensation and retirement benefits, you are not forced to choose between one program or the other. While you can generally recover from both, receiving retirement benefits could reduce your monthly workers’ compensation payments.
What is the nature of your retirement?
Did you voluntarily retire at the end of your career? You might not be able to continue recovering workers’ compensation if you plan to retire voluntarily. Remember that these benefits are designed partly to pay for lost wages if you’ve been hurt. If you plan on retiring, you aren’t missing out on any future wages.
Forced retirement is different. If you can no longer work due to a workplace injury, you could be entitled to recover both benefits.
Schedule a free consultation with Kogan & DiSalvo
The best way to protect yourself and your financial future is to speak with experienced legal counsel. By carefully navigating federal law, you could maximize your recovery from both retirement and workers’ compensation benefits. Our team of skilled and dedicated lawyers can help with every aspect of your claim, from getting your benefits to dealing with tax obligations. Contact us for a free consultation; there’s no obligation to hire us. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.