The Law Office of Kurt H King

October 18, 2012

Thoughts On The Social Security Offset Against Missouri Workers’ Compensation

Filed under: Missouri Workers Compensation — kurthking @ 4:38 pm
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Take for example, a Permanent Partial Disability workers’  compensation settlement in a case where the injured worker will need to file for Social Security Disability benefits due to inability to engage in substantially gainful employment.  Not only do we have to worry about Medicaid taking the position that some of the settlement money was for future medical expenses and therefore Medicaid will not pay for them, but we also have to be concerned about Social Security offsetting/reducing its payments to the injured worker to the extent that the work comp and Social Security exceed 80% of the worker’s Average Current Earnings (ACE).

An attorney needs to run the numbers (particularly the workers’ ACE) on this offset for the injured worker, and structure the work comp settlement agreement/stipulation–including these two areas:

1) First allocate and subtract out that part of the award that goes for attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and medical expenses–these should be  “excluded”  which reduces the amount of work comp that Social Security factors in to determine if the Social Security plus work comp exceed 80% of the worker’s ACE.

2)  Find the worker’s life expectancy and divide the remaining work comp settlement by the total number of months of that life expectancy to arrive at what one would hope is a low amount of work comp per month so that when added to monthly Social Security the two do not exceed 80% of the worker’s ACE.

IMO, these are the two “biggies.”

 

Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068; 816.781.6000

http://www.kurthking.com

Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury, Litigation

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for debtors

Family Law–Dissolution of Marriage, Modifications, Child Custody, Child Support, Paternity

December 19, 2011

No Credit For Child’s Social Security Disability $ If Due To Disability of Custodial Parent

Filed under: Custody,Divorce,Family Law,Support — kurthking @ 10:24 pm
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Possible scenario:  Mom has  residential physical custody of a child who receives Social Security Disability each month due to the disability of the mother who cannot work.  Father wants a credit for the amount of the child’s disability checks in order to reduce his child support obligation under Missouri law. 

Answer: No reduction for father becasue the disability money comes to the child because of the disability of the parent with custody–mom. 

But the answer may be yes if the father was the disabled person and the child received disability payments due to the non-custodial father’s disability.

The Missouri case on point is Gerlach v. Adair, 211 S.W.3d 663, 667 hn.8 (Mo. Ct. App. W. D. 2007).

However, there is another angle in through the back door for the non-custodial father to try.   That is that the Missouri Child Support Guidelines are just guidelines from which the court may deviate for good reason.  And one factor which could cause a deviation is that the court is supposed to consider the child’s income in deciding how much child support to order. 

One practical approach to this scenario was experienced in a Platte County, Missouri, court where the judge added the amount of money the child received each month due to the custodial mother’s disability, back into the total income of the mother which resulted in a small but fair discount in the amount of child support that the court ordered the non-custodial, non-disabled father to pay.

Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068

www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody & Support, Divorce & Modification, Family Law, Personal Injury, Missouri Workers’ Compensation

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