Reduction in lost wages when I take Social Security benefits?

by Susan
(Colorado, USA)

In January 2013 I stumbled, tripped and eventually fell at work and injured my back. I have been paid full workman's comp benefits (medical, lost wages) and I'm waiting on a major back surgery decision soon. It will be a 3 month re-coup. I have been unable to work at all since my accident and my company has since released me.

As the major bread winner of the family (husband is on social security already), I am now eligible for Social Security benefits and we could really use the extra money. If I take it, will it reduce the amount of lost wages I receive from Workman's Comp?

We also live in a small town in the mountains, 175 miles and 3 1/2 hours round trip from Denver. My primary doctor, PT, surgeon, and pain management specialist are all in Denver. Is workman's comp only obligated to pay mileage or is there other reimbursement (meals, overnight lodging for those 8am appointments) ever possible?

At first I didn't know that they even paid mileage, so is there a time limit for turning that in? Is there a standard rate on how much per mile? Thanks so much for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Reduction in lost wages when I take Social Security benefits?":

Susan (Colorado, USA):

The only time limit existing for the filing of your mileage claims is the day your workmans compensation claim is finalized. As long as your claim is still underway you can file your mileage claim and be reimbursed.

The State of Colorado follows the federal mileage reimbursement rate. Immediately before January 1st, 2013 the mileage reimbursement rate was 55.5 cents per mile. After January 1st, 2013, following the federal government, the State of Colorado raised its mileage reimbursement rate to 56.5 cents per mile.

Workers compensation can cover lodging and meal expenses if you live far enough away from your doctor or medical treatment facility so that it would be unreasonable for you to have to drive back and forth from your home town. Workers comp will not cover meal or lodging expenses of any of your family members or friends.

You are eligible to receive workers comp benefits at the same time you are collecting social security disability benefits. Social security will reduce the amount of disability benefits paid to you to offset the amount of your workers comp benefits.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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