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Reaching retirement: Your workers' compensation benefits

Once you reach the age of retirement, you may not think there is any way to obtain workers' compensation for injuries. In truth, you know you can't return to work largely because of your age. Workers' compensation is designed to compensate you for being unable to work in the future.

According to the Federal Employees' Compensation Act of 1916, workers' compensation benefits are available to federal employees, but they can only receive either retirement benefits or workers' compensation benefits once they reach retirement age, not both. Workers' compensation pays up to 75 percent of a person's salary without any taxes taken out. Retirement benefits, on the other hand, pay 60 percent of the person's past salary.

In that case, it would often be wise to accept workers' compensation for as long as you can before switching to retirement benefits. You'd earn more of your total salary, supporting you with a larger portion of income for a greater period of time.

Keep in mind that every state is different, and some states are trying to pass laws requiring you to switch to retirement benefits once you reach retirement age. For now, it's in your best interests to look into your options and find out which of the two benefits pays more and for how long. Workers' compensation is usually limited to a short period of time, while retirement pays out until your death. Your attorney can help you understand which of these benefits works for your situation and when you should switch to retirement benefits instead of claiming workers' compensation benefits.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Get Workers' Compensation After Retirement Age?," Le Trinh, Esq., accessed June 08, 2018

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