Social Security Payments And PIP

Written by Steven Matz on . Posted in .

Here is a guide on PIP related to social security payments and what happens if you are on social security disability and PIP in Michigan.

Do I Have to Repay Social Security Benefits if I Get an Automobile Case Settlement?

In some situations yes, in others, no.

A person who has a sufficient employment work history, and who is severely injured in a motor vehicle accident, may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. However, the no-fault carrier for that person is entitled to a credit of whatever amount of SSD payments the individual would receive. For example, if the disabled worker qualifies for $1000/month no-fault wage loss benefits, and also qualifies for $600/month SSD, the SSD will pay the $600, and no-fault $400. The individual would still get $1000 total, but not the sum of $1000 and $600. You do not have to repay SSD benefits out of any settlement you receive from the driver who caused the accident.

Remember: no-fault wage loss has a maximum term of three years from the date of the accident. After three years, if the injured person still qualifies for SSD, the amount received would go back to the full amount that Social Security alone pays. In the above example, the person would start receiving $600/month after the three-year anniversary of the accident.

There is a different, and very important concern for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) , and who are injured in a collision. SSI pays benefits for people who have disabilities that have prevented them from working for a long time. If such a person is injured in a car accident (or has money coming from any kind of case or other sources), the SSI benefits may be cut off, or greatly reduced. This is because there is an upper limit to how much money an SSI recipient can have before the benefits are taken away.

There are Special Needs Trusts, and Pooled Trusts, that can shield settlement money from being counted against SSI benefits. These trusts have significant limitations as far as your being able to use the funds, although these limitations are usually preferable to having SSI benefits terminated or reduced.

It is important to recognize the difference between SSD and SSI, and to be sure that your lawyer takes the necessary steps to assure that you are receiving all the funds that you are entitled to, without jeopardizing your benefits.

A person who receives SSI, and who will be getting money from an auto case or other source, needs to consult with an attorney who understands the differences in these benefits, and who takes them into account from the beginning of your injury case.

Social Security Disability and PIP

“If I am disabled in a Michigan auto collision, and therefore receive Social Security Disability benefits, can I still receive no-fault PIP wage loss benefits as well?”

Michigan courts have ruled that your PIP carrier is entitled to a credit for any Social Security Disability benefits you may receive for injuries received in a motor vehicle collision. The PIP carrier can’t force you to apply for Social Security Disability, but if you are awarded such benefits, your car insurance company can deduct any amount you receive from your wage loss payments.

For example, if your PIP wage loss monthly reimbursement is $2000, and you qualify for $900 per month from Social Security for the same injuries, your PIP carrier will owe you $1100 per month, and you’ll also get the $900 per month from Social Security. You still get the same amount that you would have received from PIP, alone ($2000 per month); it is just divided between two sources. If you get a large lump sum once your Social Security Disability is approved, the PIP carrier may stop paying you until the lump sum has evened out with the PIP payments that are due.

A couple of things to remember: This analysis only applies to Social Security Disability granted because of injuries caused in a car accident (not to Supplemental Security Income that a person receives because of a long-term illness not related to the car accident). Secondly, the PIP carrier can only claim the credit against wage loss benefits, not your other benefits, such as replacement services or attendant care.

Source: OAG Number 6111; 370 NW2d 619; 521 NW2d 831

Conclusion

To speak with an experienced Michigan car accident attorney, use our contact page or call 1-866-22Not33 today.

 

Steven Matz

Written By Steven Matz

Steven Matz
Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury. Mr. Matz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with high distinction and highest honors in 1974 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree in 1977 from The George Washington University National Law Center. Mr. Matz lectures and publishes in a number of areas, including ethics, marketing, trial tactics, and head injury. Mr. Matz has served on the Michigan Association for Justice Executive Board and currently serves the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board as a Hearing Panel Chairman and Master. He is also a member of the State Bar Committee for Character and Fitness.
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