Last Updated: 6/15/2023

Many of Des Moines’ disabled citizens became disabled due to an on-the-job injury. If your disability has made it impossible to work, you may qualify for permanent workers’ compensation benefits or Social Security benefits. However, only one form of disability may not be enough to support your costly expenses. Although you may be entitled to both workers’ comp and disability insurance, you may not know how to go about getting them or when to file for workman’s comp in Iowa.

Receiving Both Workers’ Comp and Disability Insurance

You’ll be glad to know the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that disability payments from private sources, such as private pension or insurance benefits, do not affect your Social Security disability benefits.

These benefits are:

  • Veterans Administration benefits;
  • state and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings; or
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

However, collecting workers’ comp and disability insurance at the same time may reduce your Social Security benefits.

The SSA classifies workers’ compensation benefits as payments made to you because of a job-related injury or illness. If you already receive what the SSA classifies as workers’ compensation, your Social Security disability benefits may be affected. According to the SSA, “If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of these benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled.” Your average current earnings before becoming disabled are calculated by the SSA using various mathematical formulas.

Calculating Workers’ Comp and Disability Insurance Benefits

The SSA provides an example for calculating your worker’s comp and disability insurance benefits together. Imagine your average current earnings before becoming disabled was $4,000 per month. You, your spouse and your children would be eligible to receive $2,200 per month in Social Security disability benefits. However, if you also receive $2,000 per month from workers’ compensation, your family’s Social Security Benefits will be reduced by $1,000 per month because you would receive more than 80 percent of your average current earnings. 

If there are changes to your workers’ compensation or other public benefits, let the SSA know and it will work with your to supplement the loss of income. For more information on the process of filing for Social Security disability benefits, visit the SSA website at or call toll-free, 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call their TTY number: 1-800-325-0778).

Filing for Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits

Along with the pain you may be suffering, undergoing the filing and calculations processes for workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security Benefits can be daunting. Many disability advocate websites, like and, suggest seeking the advice of trusted legal counsel to better understand the benefits to which you may be entitled.

Although your workers’ compensation benefits may offset your Social Security disability benefits, they don't have to. Let the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley and Bair be your workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits activists: (641) 792-3595.

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.