Worker’s Compensation (WC) benefits are typically treated as unearned income for purposes of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI is a needs based disabity program that also looks at a disabled person’s resources (income and assets) in order to determine eligibility and benefit amounts.
Most worker’s compensation cash settlements are in the nature of wage replacement benefits for injured workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled.
However, any WC benefits that are designated for past, current, or future medical expenses or that are legal fees or costs attributable to obtaining the WC award are not counted as unearned income for SSI purposes. This principle is set out in Social Security Ruling 94-2p.
If you have questions about the interaction of a Worker’s Compensation award and SSI benefits, it is often wise to consult an experienced attorney.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted