Board Certified Workers' Compensation Specialist
Nationally Certified Medicare Set-Aside Consultant*
If you are an attorney representing a client with a workers' compensation claim, I can assist you in minimizing the risk of malpractice by working with you to ensure that your client's interests are fully protected. My office provides counsel to legal professionals helping you draft settlement agreements that include Social Security offset language, thereby allowing your settlement to maximize your client's Social Security Disability benefits against harsh offset rules.
The Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §424; 20 CFR §404.401(a)(4); 20 CFR §404.408(a)(2)(i)) provides in pertinent part that for any month prior to the month in which an individual (other than a disabled widow or a disabled adult child) attains the age or 65 (prior to 1981 amendments to the SSA Act this was at age 62):
1. such individual is entitled to benefits under § 223 of the Social Security Act (42 USC 424a), and
2. such individual is entitled for such months, under a workers' compensation law or plan of the United States or a State, or certain public disability benefits required by a Federal, State or local government law or plan on account of the Claimant's own disability or illness, to periodic benefits for total or partial disability (whether or not permanent); then the total of the Claimant's benefits under § 223 (disability benefits) for such month and of any benefits under §202 (retirement benefits in such cases as technical entitlement) for such month based on wages and self-employment income shall be reduced. This reduction is commonly referred to as the "offset".
While the client receives weekly workers' compensation/public disability benefits and monthly Social Security Disability benefits, there is little, if any, room for mitigating the impact of offset. The opportunity for craftsmanship only occurs when drafting the settlement documents.
The types of concurrently received benefits that can trigger the offset are (a) periodic, as well as, lump sum State or Federal workers' compensation payments and (b) certain public disability benefits required by a Federal, State or local government law or plan.
Once you have negotiated a workers' compensation settlement, you can send the proposed agreement to my office for review, or if you prefer ask my office to draft the settlement documents. My office will then gather the necessary information and draft offset language, as well as, any other provisions required to protect your client's interests.
To request service to protect your client's interests click Settlement Document Request Worksheet tab.
To request my office obtain Social Security information regarding your client's earnings record click the Form for Requesting Social Security Information tab.