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Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16579
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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If you received a lump sum workers compensation settlement

If you received a lump sum workers compensation settlement in Maryland in 2006, and have not filed for social security disability yet, but plan to apply in 2014, will that settlement 8 years ago have any effect on social security benefits?

fyi - Worked full-time for 26 years until disabiling injury in 2005. Have not worked since 2005 and receive disability pension for line of duty disability.

Megan C :

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you today

Megan C :

How are you doing?

Customer:

Hi Megan,

Customer:

Fine thanks.

Megan C :

That's great to hear. I am just verifying my answer before I type it out for you.

Customer:

ok, thank you.

Megan C :

Okay. Basically what happens with a lump sum settlement is that social security looks at it as if it is spread over the rest of your life.

Megan C :

So, if you received \$18,000 and are expected to live 40 more years, they would take that \$18,000 and divide it by 480 months. So, effectively you would be receiving \$375 per month

Megan C :

However, the offset only comes into play if your workers comp plus your social security benefit is more than 80% of your average earnings during your working career

Megan C :

Megan C :

I realize it can be a confusing area.

Customer:

First, isn't it 37.50 month, not 375.00? 18,000 divided by 480 = 37.50

Megan C :

Oops on that...I moved my decimal over too much. Sorry about that

Megan C :

Customer:

Second, ok, hypothetically if I am 50 years old and the amount of the settlement was 60,000, and my approximate SSD monthly benefit would be 1,500. My average earings would be approximately 50,000. So 80% of that is 40,000. So I would be under the 80% under this scenerio?

Customer:

Is that absolutely how SSD views lump sum settlements? They don't consider that it was 8 years prior to filing for SSD and you did not apply or collect SSD during that time and potentially could have?

Megan C :

You would have to find out how long social security says you will live, and spread that amount over those years.

Megan C :

They won't care that you did not apply for those 8 years.

Customer:

ok. how do I find out their life expectancy rate?

Megan C :

Basically, as long as your workers comp benefit spread out is less than \$1,800 a month you're fine. SO based on your numbers, the lump sum benefit should not impact you

Megan C :

You could call 1-800-772-1213 ... but I think you're fine based on your figures.

Customer:

would life expectancy be calculated as of the age you are that you file for SSD or the age you were when you received the lump sum settlement?

Megan C :

The year of your lump sum settlement

Customer:

Where does the less than \$1,800 come from?

Megan C :

I took \$40,000, which is 80% of your previous annual pay and subracted \$18,000 which is your social security payments annually, then took the remaining \$22,000 and divided it by 12 to get the monthly figure

Customer:

ok, I see.

Megan C :

Customer:

I think I am good. Since the workers compensation case is settlement, SS just will focus on the lump sum settlement,not any monies received during the open workers compensation since you were not collecting SSD at that time?

Megan C :

That is correct.

Megan C :

They are just focused on the settlement.

Megan C :

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Megan C :

Once you have the information you need, please rate me positive so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

yes, thank you very much.

Megan C :

You're welcome :-) You have an excellent day

Customer:

oh, real quick - I read that SSD reviews the settlement document

Megan C :

okay

Customer:

what if there is no provision in the document about the lump sum. SSD still does the calculations based on spreading out the lump sum over your life expectancy?

Megan C :

Yes, that is the default.

Customer:

ok.

Megan C :

Thanks. Anything else?

Customer:

no, thank you very much.

Megan C :

You're welcome! Please don't forget to rate before exiting the chat