Dear Sir or Madam:
My husband was injured in early 2003 when he was 27 and at that time he was receiving worker's compensation payments (TTD) of $492.86 on a bi-weekly basis. In late 2005, he applied for Social Security due to his disability and was approved on the first try. He received $1063.00 on a monthly basis from Social Security in addition to his worker's compensation benefit of $492.86. In late 2007, the DQME declared my husband permanent & statuary, thus the worker's compensation payments were reduced to $370.00 on a bi-weekly basis. We contacted Social Security and notified them of the change and assumed since Social Security took his Worker's Compensation benefits into account, Social Security would pick-up the amount deducted. This did not happen and we were told it's because he is getting the full amount. We were never officially denied via a letter but we were told when he stopped getting the $370.00 to let them know. On Saturday, we were contacted by the Insurance Company and notified that his Worker's Compensation benefits of $370.00 would be ending on that same day. I faxed Social Security evidence in form of the letter we were sent by the Worker's Compensation Insurance company and a copy of the last check and asked how we could go about getting his social security benefits revaluated.
Today, we received a call from Social Security and we are informed that he is receiving the maximum amount and he makes too much to qualify for SSI. This makes no sense since his award letter stated they took his worker's compensation benefits into account (I believe they refer to this as an "offset"). Below is details on what the award letter stated in 2005 and what his earnings were/are.
We did not go through a lawyer when we applied, so we are pretty much told by attorneys that they only help clients when they are denied and or trying to reapply, so they do not want to help. We have a Work Comp attorney, however all he does is Work Comp. What I need to know is if it is accurate what Social Security is telling us? What are our options because we can't live off of $1,169.00 alone. Our mortgage is $1200 alone and you can understand that we do not want to lose our home. I am disabled and was before my husband became injured but because when he was working we could make ends meet, I did not apply for anything. Even when my husband was on Work Comp and Social Security, we still were able to make ends meet, so we stayed as we were. We have no children (because we are disabled) so we have no dependants. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
His award letter from 2005 states: Your present worker's compensation payments of $1,067.80 do not affect your Social Security benefits. The pamphlet explains how we reduce your and your family's social security disability checks if the money which you and your family would receive from social security and worker's compensation payments adds up to more than 80 percent of your monthly average current earnings. We found that 80% of your average current earnings is $2136.00
We take into account your worker's compensation payment of $1,746.40 when we figure your social security benefits. Because you receive this payment, we are reducing the benefits you are due.
We are reducing your monthly social security checks beginning August 2004, which is the first month you were entitled to both receive social security disability benefits and public disability payments.
Your benefit will be $359.40 beginning August 2004.