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Can I Get Workers' Compensation After Retirement Age?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 09, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Workers' compensation is meant to compensate you for your lost ability to work. However, once you're past retirement age, that lost ability to work shouldn't matter anymore because you've retired. What if you're past retirement age but are still working?

Will you lose your workers' compensation benefit after retirement age? Can you get workers' compensation and retirement payments?

Federal Law

The Federal Employees' Compensation Act of 1916 provides workers compensation benefits for federal employees. Currently, once workers' compensation recipients reach retirement age, they can chose to receive workers' compensation benefits or retirement benefits. Most choose to receive workers' compensation benefits as long as they are considered disabled.

Workers' compensation pays up to 75 percent of an employee's salary tax free. Meanwhile, retirement benefits only pay 60 percent of an employees' salary.

Lawmakers have repeatedly tried to propose laws that would switch workers' compensation recipients to the retirement system when they reach retirement age. However, such reforms have yet to be passed.

State Laws

State laws regarding workers' compensation and retirement vary wildly among states.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, permanent total disability payments continue for life. Once, employees reach retirement age, they can receive both workers' compensation and Social Security retirement benefits. However, workers' compensation payments may be reduced.

An employee can receive 150 percent of workers' compensation benefits minus Social Security retirement benefits. If you receive $1,000 per month for workers compensation, and are eligible for $600 a month for Social Security retirement, then the calculation would equal $1,500 (150 percent of workers' comp) minus $600. So, you would get $900 for workers' compensation and $600 for retirement.


Minnesota law presumes that an employee receiving workers' comp is retired at age 67, which means your permanent total disability payments will stop. However, this presumption is rebuttable, and you can try to prove that you are not retired to continue receiving total disability benefits.

If you're receiving workers' compensation and approaching retirement age, consult with an experienced local attorney to see if you can continue receiving payments,

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