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Q. I was injured on the job and receive $250/week in workers’ compensation. I was also approved for Social Security Disability–but I was told I will only get $20/month because I am getting workers’ comp. Is this right? (April 2017)

A. In some states including Michigan, workers’ comp benefits can sometimes reduce Social Security Disability benefits. For these states, the federal government considers a worker’s prior earnings before becoming disabled. A disabled person’s combined workers’ comp and Social Security disability cannot exceed 80% of a person’s Average Current Earnings. Average Current Earnings can be calculated three different ways. It is important to make sure the calculation is done correctly. Workers with lower past wages often get penalized under this rule. Sometimes it makes sense to settle the workers’ comp case so that Social Security Disability Benefits can then increase. Please contact me for a free consultation regarding your own individualized situation.

–Attorney Robert J. MacDonald