Workers' Compensation Newsletters
The extent to which an individual is "disabled" by workers' compensation standards requires an examination of the individual's earning capacity after the injury in relation to his earnings prior to being injured. Even if the individual realizes a reduction in his earnings after the injury, he must still prove a causal link between the earnings reduction and his injury. Failure to do so will result in a denial of benefits. If the individual achieves earnings after his injury is sustained, there is a presumption that he has an "earning capacity" in keeping with such earnings. However, the presumption can be rebutted by evidence that the individual, in fact, has no earning capacity or that the post-injury earnings he received are not an accurate, fair, or reasonable measure of the individual's earning capacity.
An individual who resides in a penal institution such as a jail or prison for a full calendar month can no longer receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Individuals who are incarcerated must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of their changed status with respect to the incarceration. Payments that are received in the face of a jail term lasting longer than a month will be considered overpayments and must be repaid. Though a prisoner's social security benefits are suspended while he remains incarcerated, the payment of benefits to his eligible family members will be unaffected. With respect to SSDI benefits, individuals who are in jail awaiting trial will continue to receive their benefits until such time that they are convicted.
When a worker is injured during the course of his employment, he may sometimes seek a common law recovery from the third party whose action or inaction caused the injury. Depending upon the jurisdiction, immunity from such a third party action may be extended to the employer or co-employees.
When a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary is unable to manage his SSI funds, the Social Security Administration (SSA) appoints a representative payee to do so on behalf of the beneficiary. A representative payee can be an individual, organization, agency, or institution. Generally, an SSI beneficiary in need of a representative payee includes a child under age eighteen, a legally incompetent adult, and any other person who the SSA determines to be incapable of managing his funds.
The Social Security Administration's work incentives program was instituted to help disabled individuals take advantage of employment opportunities and thereby gain a measure of independence. Special rules were designed to reduce the risk that a disabled or blind Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary who chose to work would lose their SSI or Medicaid benefits.