Like the other states in the country, Texas has a workers’ compensation program. This program allows most Killeen or Fort Hood workers to collect benefits for lost wages should they suffer a work-related injury that leaves them debilitated and unable to return to their jobs.
Social Security Disability, or SSD, also affords Texas workers a monthly benefit when they can prove that they have an illness or injury, including a work-related injury, that makes it impossible for them to return either to their old jobs or to a similar line of work for which they are appropriately qualified. It is important to note, though, that to qualify for SSD, one has to have a long-term illness or injury; even if the injury is work-related, it cannot be something that will heal in a matter of a few weeks or even a few months.
Some Texans who have been permanently disabled because of their work may wonder whether or not they can get both workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and SSD payments at the same time. In this respect, getting additional compensation can prove to be quite helpful for a Texas worker, as workers’ compensation benefits do not generally cover every penny of one’s wages.
The answer to this question is “yes,” but with an important caveat. That caveat is that, between workers’ compensation and SSD, a worker cannot be earning more than 80 percent of what he or she received in average gross wages before the injury. The Social Security Administration will adjust a worker’s monthly benefit in order to satisfy this rule.
To give an example, if a worker was earning $5,000 a month in salary before he or she got hurt, and that worker is now getting $3,000 in workers’ compensation benefits each month, his or her maximum disability benefit would be $1,000, even if he or she were otherwise entitled to a higher SSD payment.