Social Security Offset and “Full Retirement Age”

Happy 2015 to everyone out there.  A recent law change has made a change to the workers’ compensation offset age.  A prior post here discusses the basics of the offset. Currently, the Department of Labor & Industries takes the offset until a worker reaches age 62.  Then the offset shifts to the Social Security Administration (SSA) at age 62. The change in the law is the age in which the offset reverts BACK to the Department of Labor & Industries.  Previously, the offset switched back at age 65.  Now, the offset from SSA will apply until the worker reaches their “full retirement age.”  “Full retirement age” is currently 66 but it is gradually increasing to 67 for those born after 1958.  You can find your “full retirement age” here.  Questions? Let us know.

Will the $250 federal stimulus payment to SSA and SSI recipients be subject to workers’ compensation offset?

A question has come up whether workers’ compensation programs will offset, as permitted by federal and state law for those who receive both workers’ compensation benefits and social security benefits, the one time $250 federal stimulus payment due to SSA and SSI recipients in late May 2009. At least in Washington State it appears that the federal stimulus monies will NOT be offset by the Department of Labor and Industries, the agency which administers both the state fund and self insurance programs. While it appears likely a workers’ compensation program COULD offset the $250 just like any other benefits received from Social Security, the Department of Labor and Industries, upon inquiry, has advised that it will NOT be offsetting the one time payment. It is quite likely that the costs of entering a separate order in each individual claim modifying the offset based on a one time payment was felt to exceed any benefit enjoyed from the one time $250 windfall, but for whatever reason, it appears that the stimulus monies are safe for now…