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Hello, my name is***** and I am looking for an experienced attorney that deals primarily with Social Security Disability. I live in Monrovia, Ca.. This is a suburb of Los Angeles, CA..

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a CA lawyer about this?

Can I explain my situation, a bit? Yes, I have an attorney and my worker's comp. case of ten years is SETTLED now with a lump sum payment to me directly of $119,000.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

Is this a real person or AI? :)

Lawyer's Assistant: Yes, I'm a bot. I make the process of talking to the lawyer more efficient and affordable by asking basic questions. Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes, I have to contact Social Security apparently about this lump sum payment. I am concerned about offsets to my future ssdi payments and also that they might make me reimburse them for overpayments. Can I talk to a real person please?

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Answered in 4 minutes by:
5/16/2018
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,932
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Social Security has several ways of converting a lump sum workers' comp payment into a monthly benefit for the purposes of calculating an offset, and it will take a close look at the language of the settlement document when it is offsetting a lump sum. In the most basic method, Social Security converts the lump sum to a monthly amount by dividing the lump sum by the periodic worker’s compensation payment that the person had been receiving, and then applying the SSDI offset for the resulting number of months.

For example, Mr. Jones is 25 years old and had been receiving $1,200 per month in worker’s compensation payments until he entered into a lump sum settlement for $24,000. Social Security will consider Mr. Jones to have received $1,200 per month in worker’s compensation benefits for 20 months ($24,000/$1,200) for purposes of calculating the SSDI offset.

Minimizing the Social Security Offset

Worker’s compensation attorneys often try to draft settlement agreements to minimize any offset of SSDI benefits. Social Security will look at the language of the worker’s compensation settlement document to decide how much of the settlement is subject to offset.

For example, Mr. Jones’ attorney might specify that the $24,000 is meant to be a $50 per month payment for every month until he reaches 65 ($24,000/480 months). Social Security would calculate any SSDI offset based on $50 per month for 480 months. Because Mr. Jones would have a lower monthly income from workers' comp, he would lose less SSDI, or might escape the offset entirely.

Lawyers also will draft the settlement agreement to exclude medical and legal expenses from the lump sum that is counted for Social Security. Social Security will exclude these expenses from being used to calculate the offset if the language in the settlement document is clear. If this language is not included in the settlement agreement, Social Security may ask for documentation of medical and legal expenses before disregarding those amounts from the offset calculation.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hello, Ray

How the offset law works and why the language is important:

Federal Law requires that individuals who receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits cannot receive a total amount of benefits greater than 80% of the worker’s pre-injury income.1 The Social Security Administration uses a formula to determine the maximum total benefits, from both programs, that a claimant can receive then they reduce the Social Security disability benefits to stay below that figure.

In order to calculate the total amount of benefits that can be received from both programs, the Social Security Administration will first determine the 80% maximum allowance then they will convert it to a maximum total combined monthly benefit.2 The Social Security Administration will then calculate the amount of workers’ compensation benefits received in temporary checks and determine the amount received each month.3 Social Security will then subtract the worker’s compensation monthly amount from the 80% maximum monthly amount; the difference is the maximum that Social Security will pay each month, even if the disabled individual’s normal Social Security disability benefit would be much higher.4

In the case of large monthly workers’ compensation benefits, or low past wages, the reduction may be total, thus the individual may not be entitled to Social Security benefits at all during the time the individual gets periodic workers’ compensation benefits.

When a lump sum is awarded in a worker’s compensation case, or a worker’s compensation case settles for a lump sum, the Social Security Administration does not have a “monthly” amount to use to calculate the offset, but that does not mean that the offset will end. Instead, by default, they treat the lump sum as if the temporary checks have continued. The purpose of the Social Security language in the worker’s compensation order is to avoid the default.

Without the Social Security language in the worker’s compensation order, Social Security takes the amount of the settlement, exclusive of attorney’s fees, medical expenses, and other case expenses, and divides by the monthly amount of worker’s compensation benefits that the disabled worker has been receiving in temporary periodic payments. The result of this calculation is the number of months the full offset will continue; thus, the offset will remain the same even though the individual is no longer getting temporary checks from workers’ compensation.

For example, if your client were to receive $400.00 per week in temporary workers’ compensation checks, then were to get a lump sum settlement of $40,000.00 (after attorney’s fees and expenses), then the offset would continue for 100 weeks after the settlement.5

The language that should be in the order:

–The lifetime proration language:

In order to keep the Social Security Administration from continuing the same offset, the law allows the workers’ compensation settlement to contain a “life expectancy” clause. This clause indicates that the lump sum is not just a continuation of the temporary checks commuted to one payment, but is instead a settlement of a disputed case, and is to compensate the worker for the lifetime of future impairment. The clause states that the settlement is the equivalent of much smaller monthly payments over the lifetime of the worker. This language is permitted in the settlement by TCA §50-6-207 (6):

(6) For social security purposes only, as permitted by federal law or regulation, in an award of compensation as a lump sum or a partial lump sum under this chapter for permanent partial or permanent total disability, the court may make a finding of fact that the payment represents a payment to the individual to be distributed over the individual’s lifetime based upon life expectancy as determined from mortality tables from Tennessee Code Annotated.

The actual language that should be included is not set out by statute anywhere, so that it does not have to be word-for-word, but the following language has been used successfully in many cases:

After payment of the attorney’s fees and costs, the claimant will receive the net amount of $____________. The mortality tables set forth in Table VI6 of the Tennessee Code Annotated indicates that because the Plaintiff is age ______, Plaintiff has a life expectancy of ________ years or ______ months. The amortized monthly benefit received by the Claimant is $_____________ divided by _________ months or $_____________ per month and represents a future income replacement. This paragraph is not intended to apply to disability retirement benefits from the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50- 6-207, as amended by Public Chapter 919, effective July 1,1996

This language has no effect on the amount of the worker’s compensation settlement itself; all it does is preserve Social Security benefits to the greatest extent possible. Inclusion of the language can reduce, or sometimes eliminate, the offset.

The calculation over the lifetime of the worker will usually result in an equivalent monthly rate of workers’ compensation payments that is much smaller than the temporary checks received by the worker. This allows the Social Security Administration to subtract a much lower amount of monthly workers’ compensation benefits from the 80% maximum, thus allowing for greater Social Security disability benefits. This method of calculation was first approved in Sciarotta v. Bowen , 837 F.2d 135 (3d Cir.1989), which was eventually adopted by the Social Security Administration.7

The importance of the life expectancy language in the workers’ compensation order is to give the Social Security Administration a basis to calculate how the lump sum is to be received. By giving the Social Security Administration a new monthly figure with the life expectancy language, they will not use the default, which is to treat the lump sum as if temporary periodic workers’ compensation benefits had continued.

— Excludable expenses should not be included in the lump sum that is prorated.

Social Security Administration POMS DI 52150.0508 sets out those items that are “Excludable Expenses” that should be excluded from the lump sum. “Expenses that are excludable from offset within the limits set by law include documented medical, legal, or related expenses actually paid, incurred, or to be incurred by the worker in connection with the workers’ compensation/public disability benefit (WC/PDB) claim.” Id. The POMS rule specifically allows exclusion of any money paid for medical expenses, legal fees or attorneys fees or “related expenses.” However, “ Garnishment (e.g., for taxes, or child or spousal support) is not an excludable expense.”

The POMS specifically explains that attorneys fees that are incurred in connection with the claim are excludable, but “Legal fees paid or incurred by the employer, the WC carrier, or someone other than the claimant are not excludable.” Id. As for medical expenses, the POMS allows exclusion of “Medical expenses paid, incurred, or to be incurred by the worker in connection with the WC/PDB claim are excludable.” Id. Future medical expenses are also excludable, but only “if specified in the WC/PDB award. Id. If medical expenses are not set out, they may still be excluded when they are incurred. Id. Home health care benefits are also excludable, “if they represent equipment, furniture, home adaptations, skilled nursing care, or physical or speech therapy to aid the disabled individual” but are not excludable, “if th

Hopefully your lawyer for wc knew what he was doing and drafted the settlement language as per above to minimize your offset here.e expenses are for household tasks such as bathing, cleaning, etc.”

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I am mainly look for an attorney that specializes in helping folks who are retired and on SSDI who get a large ($119,000) Lump sum final payment... I already received pre-settlement money over five years totaling $85,000 about.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I live in Los Angeles, CA. (Monrovia... near Pasadena)

So the key here is how the wc settlement set out he lump sum, you can reduce the offset but there will be offset here.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
It was C &R settlement with an MSA account set up over 19 years in addition to the money paid to me and my w/c attorney. My case is closed.... The GROSS settlement amount was $550,000.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
How much is this dialogue costing me now?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Sir....
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Nice to meet you by the way. God bless you.

Pick from these use the free consults.

https://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/social-security-disability/los-angeles/california

I appreciate the chance to help you and wish you the best here.

Thanks for rating 5 stars when done, let m e know if you have more.

It depends on the settlement language used by the wc lawyer, hopefully he included this in the settlement.

This is posted as a $35 question as it appears to me at least.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I am 63.5 years old and my wife is 67, also disabled and retired on SSDI

Here is more about structuring the settlement, these guys were among the ones I gave you

http://workercomplaw.com/social-security-offset-attorneys-los-angeles/

The social security can help with structuring the settlement and limiting offset.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I know you are a lawyer and you are due just compensation, but the principle of this thing bothers me. I was told that the charge would be only $5. What's up with that
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Sir?

I don't handle money here I only answer questions.I am an expert and not an employee of the site.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Well, the bait and switch is a bit much, but I think you DID help me by giving me that link for attorneys that deal with offsets to SSDI from lump sum w/c payments and pre-payments. Anything else you can add to help me? Do they ALSO consider my wife's highest income year in determining the offset for me? I believe there is an "80% rule" about SSDI that is really strict and I might have to refund an overpayment from them, if there was one.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My wife earned $106,453 one year and my highest income year was $37,071. Both of us are on SSDI, I have been since 2011 or so.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Do you think I need a specialized lawyer to help me sort through this situation? Are you still there, Ray? I hope so.

No this is strictly based on your SSDI and settlement.It may well be possible for the lawyer to avoid the offset.

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Yes this is absolutely specialized, the folks I gave you deal with this, its a common problem here.

Thanks again and thanks for rating 5 stars at top of page.

Have a blessed evening.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I think my w/c lawyer screwed up a bit, by not informing about offsets and informing the SSA. He is a pitbull in court, but we have communication problems.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I guess my time is up now?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I hope retaining or consulting an additional lawyer does not cost me much.......... DO you know personally any of these lawyers you are referring me to, sir?

Yes I do they are well known in the LA area for such cases.You can negotiate fees with them.They may well save you money here long term, more than their fees.

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Thanks for your patience I have multiple folks here, there is a delay of a minute or two.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Ok Thanks... God bless you... I will give you a good rating.

Wish you the best thanks and bye for now.Stars are at top of your page.

Ray
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Satisfied Customers: 48,932
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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