If you start receiving government retirement benefits, you may get a surprise when you learn that your workers’ compensation benefits could be reduced. For older workers and those thinking about retirement, here is what you need to know.
What Is the Retirement Presumption?
Minnesota workers’ compensation law says that when you turn age 67, you are presumed to be retired from the workforce for purposes of receiving Permanent Total Disability benefits. These days, many people continue working past age 67. You can contest the presumption of retirement by showing that you plan to continue working. If you do not contest the presumption or lose your contest, your PTD benefits will end.
What Happens When You Start Getting Social Security
When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits (which often happens before age 67), your PTD benefits will get reduced by the amount of those benefits. A new law says that only Social Security benefits can reduce PTD benefits, not other types of government benefits you might receive. These Social Security benefits include old age and survivor insurance benefits received under the federal Social Security act.
What Are Government Benefits?
Government benefits that cannot reduce your PTD benefits include:
- retirement annuities
- optional annuities received in lieu of retirement benefits
- benefits from the Public Employee Retirement Association, Teachers Retirement Association, or Minnesota State Retirement System
- Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (although SSDI benefits may themselves be reduced if you are receiving workers’ comp).
Will a Settlement Get Reduced If You Start Receiving Social Security?
Fortunately, the rule that Social Security old age and survivor insurance benefits reduce your PTD does not apply if you have settled your entire workers’ compensation case. Your settlement lump sum will not be affected if you signed a full and complete settlement of all your claims for benefits and it was approved by a workers’ compensation judge. Your settlement will also be unaffected if it allowed PTD benefits to be reduced by non-Social Security retirement benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.