As people live longer, healthier lives, more of them remain in the workplace into their senior years. Many people even continue to do physically demanding jobs well into their 50s and 60s and beyond. However, employers often transition them into roles where they can pass on their knowledge to younger workers getting started in fields like construction.
Because they often move to less risky responsibilities and also because they have many years of safety training behind them, older workers can often escape the injuries younger workers suffer. However, a fall or an accident caused by someone else’s negligence can cause serious injuries in an older person.
If you’re in your 60s or older when you’re injured at work, you may decide that it’s time to retire. It’s wise to run the numbers, though. If you’re not at your full Social Security retirement age, but old enough to start collecting benefits, find out how much you’re entitled to receive.
What happens to your workers’ compensation benefits if you retire?
The good news is that you can receive both – to some extent. Your Social Security retirement benefits won’t affect your workers’ comp benefits for any medical care and treatment you need for your work-related injury. However, under Pennsylvania law, the amount of workers’ comp you would have received for wage loss due to your injury will be lower because of your Social Security retirement benefits. Note that this is if you retire because you choose to, which is different than no longer being able to work due to your injury.
If you’re at the age where you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits if you choose to no longer work, it’s wise to find out precisely how much you’ll still be entitled to receive each month in workers’ comp as well as how much you’ll receive in Social Security retirement benefits. It’s also a good idea to look at what those Social Security payments would be if you wait until full retirement age (if you’re not there yet).
You need to be upfront with your workers’ comp provider about your retirement status and any other benefits you’re receiving. However, don’t let yourself be shortchanged on the workers’ comp you’re still entitled to receive.
It’s a lot to think about. That’s why it’s wise to seek legal guidance before you make any decisions.