(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Coordinating Workers Compensation & Social Security: The Inequity Among States Continues

Source: National Academy of Social Insurance

A recently published report by the National Academy of Social Insurance reflects that a "reverse offset" (coordination of benefits) still continues in 15 states. In reverse offset states, the insurance carrier gains the financial benefit of the coordination of benefits and NOT the Federal Social Security system. 

"If a worker becomes eligible for both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability insurance benefits, one or both of the programs will limit benefits to avoid making excessive payments relative to the worker’s past earnings. The Social Security amendments of 1965 require that Social Security disability benefits be reduced
15 (or “offset”) so that the combined totals of workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits do not exceed 80 percent of the workers’ prior earnings. 16 Some states, however, had established reverse offset laws prior to the 1965 legislation, whereby workers’ compensation payments are reduced if the worker receives Social Security disability benefits. Legislation in 1981 eliminated the states’ option to adopt reverse offset laws, but the 15 states that already had such laws in place were exempted. 17
15 The portion of workers’ compensation benefits that offset (reduce) SSDI benefits are subject to federal income tax (IRC section 86(d)(3)).

16 The cap remains at 80 percent of the worker’s average earnings before disability, except that, in the relatively few cases when Social Security disability benefits for the worker and dependents exceed 80 percent of prior earnings, the benefits are not reduced below the Social Security amount. This cap also applies to coordination between Social Security disability insurance and other public disability benefits (PDB) derived from jobs not covered by Social Security, such as state or local government jobs where the governmental employer has chosen not to cover its employees under Social Security.

17 States with reverse offset laws are: Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

More Articles About The Offset
Feb 26, 2011
A NJ Court of Appeals has ruled that the reverse-offset permitted under Federal law was allowed to be asserted by an insurance carrier years after an original workers' compensation judgment was entered. Even though the ...
Dec 01, 2009
Social Security (SSA) has been subsidizing a select group of States since 1981. The workers' compensation insurance carriers in only those select States are permitted to take a credit against SSA payments. The US Congress ...
Mar 23, 2008
In 1984 Congress amended The Social Security Amendments of 1956 and required that workers' compensation benefits were to be offset against the federal Social Security disability insurance benefit. In 1985 the offset was ...