Employees who receive additional benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Law 15(3)(v) lose those additional benefits as soon as they reach eligibility for federal Social Security old-age benefits. Self-insured employers and insurance carriers don’t have to wait until an employee reaches full retirement age to cut workers’.
Recent case: Alfred Jones was awarded 156 weeks’ permanent partial disability benefits after an injury. When that time was up, he started collecting federal Social Security disability benefits, plus additional benefits under Workers’ Compensation Law 15(3)(v).
As soon as he reached age 62, the Workers’ Compensation Board cut those additional benefits. Jones appealed, arguing that the law didn’t mean benefits should be terminated as soon as he was eligible for Social Security old-age benefits, but when he turned 65 and became eligible for full retirement benefits.
Not so, concluded the court. Because the law said benefits could be cut as soon as the disabled employee “receives or is entitled to receive” Social Security old-age benefits, it didn’t matter whether the employee actually began collecting the payments—just that he was technically eligible for the reduced benefits at age 62. (Jones v. Miron Lumber and Workers’ Compensation Board, No. 501426, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 2007)