Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

2018 Social Security Changes – COLA Increases

Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from workers-compensation.blogspot.com

The Social Security Administration has announced based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent COLA for 2018.

The change in the COLA impacts totally disabled workers receiving both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits. Total benefits paid to disabled workers prior to age 62 years old cannot exceed 80% of pre-disability earnings.

"The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act permits an offset for social security disability benefits against workers’ compensation benefits. Those individuals under the age of 62 who receive benefits pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act in accordance with either statutory section 34:15-95 or 34:15-12(b) are subject to having their benefits reduced by an amount equal to that payable under the Federal Old-Age, Survivor’s and Disability Insurance Act but in an amount not to exceed the reduction statutorily prescribed in 42 U.S.C.A." Gelman, Jon L, NJ Workers’ Compensation Law, 38 NJ Prac. § 18.1.

Additionally, recomputation of the offset based on COLA increased is prohibited in NJ. Therefore, NJ employers and their insurance carriers are allowed to benefit twice.

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