Social Security disability and worker’s compensation

Farm Forum

Q Can a person receive Social Security disability and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time?

A Yes, but workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce Social Security benefits. If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits and SSA disability benefits for the same period, the total amount of these cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled. When someone is eligible for both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability, sometimes the State offsets the workers compensation benefits while sometimes Social Security offsets the disability benefits. Variations exist in types of state workers’ compensation benefits so this general answer will not apply in the same manner for all states. Reporting receipt of workers’ compensation is one of your responsibilities when receiving disability.

Q Our newly adopted baby son already has a Social Security number (SSN). Can we change his SSN to correct his name and show us as his parents?

A Yes, at no charge. Learn the documents needed and print the downloadable application at As a general guideline for any SSN name change, child or adult, documents seen must clearly show the person going from the previous to new name. For example, adoption decrees and marriage certificates often show both the previous and new name. You must also show the change in parent names. Documents Social Security may accept to prove your child’s legal name and parent changes include the final adoption decree, court order for a name change or amended birth certificate. Separate ID for your son might be needed. Proof of your relationship to your son and ID for you is needed. This might be your driver’s license or U.S. passport. Sometimes one document serves for multiple purposes. All documents used must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency, not photocopies you made or notarized copies of documents. All documents are returned to you. Once corrected, your child will have the same SSN as before. All SSN actions are provided free by Social Security. Protect yourself. Be sure to access information through the official Social Security website at From the homepage, SSN information is in the Numbers & Cards tab.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at Read his online articles at