Let Our Qualified Attorney Assist You With Your Multi-Simultaneous Benefit Claim
You may have a case where multiple benefits apply, and you can collect from all of them.
This would most commonly happen in a situation where you were seriously hurt in the course and scope of your employment (i.e. while “working”), due to the negligence of someone other than your employer (i.e., a “third party”) and you were unable to return to any work for at least one year.
An example would be if you were a delivery driver who was delivering some goods for your employer and another driver smashes into you at a high rate of speed, causing serious bodily injury to you, such that you are disabled from returning to any regular steady work for at least one year.
Facts Regarding a Multi-Simultaneous Benefit Claim
First and foremost, you would receive workers’ compensation, as that is primary coverage since it happened at work.
Second, you could simultaneously bring a claim against the driver who hit you – most commonly their auto liability insurance company. When your injuries healed sufficiently (generally, when you’ve “stabilized”, or reached MMI [“Maximum Medical Improvement”]), you could settle this “third party” claim against the insurance company for the driver who hit you. However, out of that settlement, you would have to pay back the work comp insurance company for any and all benefits that they had paid out to you. This is to prevent a “double recovery” on your part. You would then keep any and all amounts above and beyond the work comp reimbursement or “lien”, and you would then be on your own. That is, the work comp carrier would be off the hook for any further benefits until and unless you spent all of your net third party proceeds on medical/disability benefits related to the work comp injury.
Third, if you were off for at least one year, or expected to be off at least one year, you could bring a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD). Whether and to what degree you could keep any or all of your proceeds from work comp, and/or the prospective third party claim, gets very complicated and is not a simple “Yes” or “No” response. In large part it depends on what your earnings had been prior to the accident. Generally, the greater your earnings (i.e. the more you “chipped in” to Social Security), the more likely you would be able to keep your work comp and/or third party proceeds.
Last, it is also worth noting that your employer might have a “private disability” benefits program (ASK!!), in which case you can apply for that as well. These vary so much from program to program that it is impossible to address here the ramifications of whether and to what degree you could keep the benefits from such a private disability program. The best thing to do is to simply ask your employer (and confirm with the private disability adjuster), what the program provides and expects from you in return. Nearly all that I’ve seen mandate that you simultaneously apply for SSD and that if you get it, you will be expected to reimburse the private disability program, out of any favorable SSD award, all or a certain percentage of what the private disability program paid you. The private disability program would then, in all likelihood, cease payment to you, or, possibly, pay you a nominal supplement such as $50 or $100 per month on top of your SSD benefits. Again, these private disability programs vary widely and you must ask your employer and, preferably, confirm that information with someone who actually works at the private disability insurance company. It is a good idea to get such important information as this in writing.
Legal Guidance for Multiple-Benefit Cases
Proper legal guidance can help you obtain multiple benefits in case of a third party involvement. The Law Office of Brian D. Kelm will help determine if you have more than one benefit available to you. Brian is well versed in these multiple-benefit cases.
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About the Law Office of Brian D. Kelm
The Law Office of Brian D. Kelm is a family-owned law firm that has been providing reliable legal services since 1987.
Our practice areas include workers' compensation, personal injury, Social Security Disability, third-party claims, and multi-simultaneous benefits.