Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation in Houston, TX

Confused about Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation? If you’ve become disabled, it’s important to know the difference, because the application processes and outcomes are different.

Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation in Houston, TX

Workers’ Compensation

This is a public insurance funded by employers and includes both medical treatment for on-the-job injuries and/or illness, and partial payment for lost wages. Injured employees can heal away from work, and be paid for their temporary disability. Should an employee discovered that he or she is permanently disabled, permanent benefits are paid. If an employee’s death occurs, benefits can be paid to the survivors.

Texas calculates an employee’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) as the amount of wages they receive during the period 13 weeks prior to the work-related injury/illness, and uses it to determine the amount of WC benefit payments. The maximum benefit will not exceed that amount, and will vary depending on the type of injury (temporary, longer-term, or life benefits.)

In Texas, employers may offer WC coverage for employees who become injured on the job, but they can opt-out of the state’s plan and offer their own private coverage (self-insure.) If your employer does carry the state of Texas WC, and you apply for Social Security Disability, there may be some overlap. Should you receive both at the same time, you may see a decrease in one or the other.

Social Security Disability

This federally funded program pays you based on your average monthly lifetime earnings, not to exceed 80% of your previous average monthly earnings.  SSD pays you benefits if you are unable to work due to a medical condition that will last a year, or is terminal.

You can complete your SSD application online, by phone or in person by appointment at your local Social Security office. However, you may not receive benefits right away. The Social Security Administration examines your case and makes a determination based on your application. Therefore, it’s important to completely fill out your application and have all of your important information handy when you do. This information includes your name, date/place of birth, Social Security number, the same information on your spouse or former spouse(s), any minor children, earnings, and other pertinent information. (A complete listing of required information is available on the Social Security Administration’s website.)

Possible Offsets

If you are receiving Workers’ Compensation and apply for Social Security Disability, you may receive a smaller amount of SSD than if you would if you did not receive Worker’s Compensation. Social Security calculates the amount that you would receive monthly, and you’ll only receive the difference between your WC payments and the SSD amount. Your total payments cannot exceed 80% of your average monthly income when you were working.

For instance, if you made $3,500 a month while you were employed, your total disability income would be $2,800 per month. If you are receiving disability payments of $1,800 from Workers’ Compensation, then your monthly SSD payment would be $1,000. If you are no longer receiving Workers’ Compensation, then your SSD payment would be the full $3,500 per month.

Both Social Security Disability and Workers Compensation are publicly funded programs, as are others (i.e., civil service disability benefits.) Therefore, disability payments from private sources, like pensions or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. VA benefits, state and local benefits and SSI also do not impact Social Security benefits.

In Texas, offsets to WC aren’t allowed for SSA retirement benefits, and lump-sum payments aren’t usually authorized, except for accrued benefits that haven’t been paid yet.

Need Help? Call Us

If you’ve submitted applications and are denied benefits, don’t give up. The Herren Law Firm has helped more than 4,000 Houstonians get the help they need dealing with Social Security and Workers’ Compensation cases. Call us today at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 to schedule your free consultation. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t have to pay any fees until we win your case.

What Are Social Security Disability Back Payments?

If there is one thing considered a constant when filing a Social Security disability claim, it’s that these claims take a very long time. Social Security disability (SSD) claimants know this, and the Social Security Administration knows this as well. As such, in almost every case where the claimant is awarded his/her SSD benefits or SSI benefits based on disability, then the past due disability benefits (known as disability “backpay”) is also awarded. The amount of backpay usually goes back to when the initial application was filed, though in some cases it can be earlier.

What Are Social Security Disability Back Payments | Herren Law Houston

If you applied for SSD benefits, it’s essential to have an experienced Houston SSD benefits attorney on your side. At Herren Law, we boast years of experience and helping hundreds of Houston residents with their disability benefits, and we can help you too, including with issues such as backpay. For a free consultation with Houston attorney William Herren, call our law firm today at (713) 682-8194.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Social Security disability back payments below.

Factors That Determine Backpay

Back payments are paid to successful SSD or SSI applicants for the months between the application date and the day you’re awarded benefits. This is generally due to the fact that there are many people applying for benefits, and the SSA is notorious for taking forever with the SSD application process. Furthermore, for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, there is always a five-month waiting period, and for some applications, there might be retroactive benefits available. In general, the main factors that determine an applicant’s backpay include the application date, the date of disability, and the five-month waiting period.

Application Date

The first factor that determines the amount of your backpay is the application date for your Social Security disability or SSI benefits. When applying for SSD benefits, the SSA will give successful applicants backpay that satisfies monthly payments back to their date of application. Furthermore, some applicants may be considered for retroactive benefits during the year prior to the application date. Retroactive benefits might not be available to SSI applicants; SSI applicants can receive back pay that dates back to the first month after filing an application.

Additionally, some applicants can have a “protective filing date.” This date generally occurs before the applicant filed for benefits, and the applicant can receive back pay going back to this date.

Date of Disability

Next to the application date, the second most important factor when determining backpay is the date of disability. Essentially, this refers to when the disability occurred, and when filling out your claim application, you’ll have to include this date, known as the alleged onset date (AOD).

When approved for disability benefits, your DDS disability examiner or administrative law judge will give you an established onset date (EOD). Unlike AOD, which you determine, the EOD is dependent solely on the claimant’s medical records and work history. Some evidence considered for your EOD include doctor’s reports, lab results, and disability application.

It’s important to note that, for SSI, the Social Security Administration won’t give an EOD that occurs before the application date. This is due to the fact that SSI applicants cannot receive benefits before the month of application. Also, if the SSA states that your EOD is after the application date, then the SSI applicant will receive benefits starting on the EOD, not the application date. Remember, this is only for SSI applicants.

For SSD and SSDI applicants, you may be able to receive retroactive back payments if there is an established EOD before the application date.

Five-Month Waiting Period

The last major factor in SSD back payments is the five-month waiting period. This waiting period only applies to SSDI applicants, and not SSI applicants. This means that successful SSD applicants with an EOD may have five months of benefits removed from the beginning of their disability. In other words, the applicant is entitled to benefits 5 months after the EOD.

Contact Herren Law for a Free Consultation

There are numerous factors involved in every Social Security Disability case, whether that involves the date of disability, the evidence of disability and an inability to work, and so forth. In any case, you should expect a long and complex process, which is why it’s critical to get an experienced Houston SSD attorney at your side. For a free consultation with Herren Law, call our Houston law firm today at (713) 682-8194. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you won’t pay a penny unless we win your case.