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Definition of Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits refer to Social Security disability insurance, SSDI, benefits that are paid to a person that cannot work as a result of having a medical condition that is expected to last at least for a period of one year or end in death. It is federal law that requires this strict definition of disability. There are programs like workers' compensation that pay money to a person who has a partial disability or a short-term disability. Social Security does not do this.

In relation to workers' compensation, some workers may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, as well as being eligible to get workers' compensation benefits if they have suffered a work-related injury or illness. However, an injured worker is not permitted to get the full amount of workers' compensation benefits and social security disability benefits at the same time. In most instances, social security disability benefits are reduced in order that the total monthly amount that a disabled worker receives does not exceed 80 percent of what that worker would have earned if they were totally employed. This process of reducing Social Security disability benefits to account for workers' compensation benefits is referred to as a workers' compensation offset.

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