Receipt of Social Security Disability Does Not Bar Wage Loss Compensation
State, ex rel. Asplundh Tree Expert Co. v. Indus. Comm. (7/7/99), 86 Ohio St.3d 65.
Issue: Can an injured worker receive wage loss compensation while receiving Social Security Disability?
Background: O’Nail had an allowed industrial injury. He filed for wage loss compensation. The Commission. granted wage loss benefits.
His employer filed a mandamus challenge to the award of wage loss compensation. The employer claimed that O’Nail’s receipt of Social Security Disability benefits precluded wage loss.
The Court of Appeals denied the mandamus.
Decision: Supreme Court affirms.
Receipt of Social Security Disability benefits does not bar wage loss compensation. Federal law permits a Social Security Disability offset from workers’ compensation benefits only if the state law provides for one. The Court says that federal law therefore doesn’t view receipt of Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation benefits as inherently inconsistent. Ohio’s law also does not view Social Security Disability and wage loss as inconsistent. The legislature has addressed two situations involving concurrent payment of Social Security Disability and workers’ compensation. Wage loss is not mentioned.
The Court holds that O’Nail’s receipt of Social Security Disability did not compel a denial of wage loss compensation.