I often get questions about what counts as money/earnings to offset any WC payments that are due. Here are a few of the more common ones:
- PTO/vacation/sick time- If a claimant received PTO pay from the Employer, it is generally not earnings to reduce your WC payments. There is a wide array of different ways Employers handle their PTO programs while someone is on WC. Some Employers allow the claimant to take PTO for the 7-day waiting period, but when and if they reach 21 days where you owe the waiting period, you still owe the waiting period WC payment in full. How the ER handles reimbursement or crediting any PTO time is an employment issue, refer the claimant back to the HR department.
- Short Term (STD) or Long Term Disability (LTD) – In most instances, the terms of STD policies either state STD will NOT pay if it is a WC claim or STD payments are reduced by your WC payments. Almost all LTD policies offset with WC, meaning WC is primary. If a claimant collects STD or LTD first, and then you have to pay WC, make sure the ER notifies their Disability carrier because there will be an overpayment on their side, not yours.
- Unemployment benefits – These are primary to WC. UE is a total bar to receiving TTD and is a direct offset reducing your TPD payments.
- Social Security Retirement– This is not an offset to your WC, you still owe the full payment.
- Social Security Disability – This can be an offset to Temporary or Permanent Total Benefits, and it is a strategic decision when to take the offset. It is complex formula to calculate the offset, you will need a completed DWC-14 from the SSA to calculate it. Our right to take a SSD offset ends when the claimant reaches 62, because SSD converts to SS Retirement at that time.
For more education and good times, join us a little over a month from now on July 15, 2022 in Tampa for our 7th annual CEU/Dinner. RSVP to EG@Eraclides.com.
Morgan Indek | Managing Partner