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Reversing a decision by the state’s Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Kansas held that under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker’s compensation must be reduced by any social security retirement benefits simultaneously received by that worker; that rule applied in spite of the fact that the claimant was already receiving Social Security retirement benefits prior to the date he was injured and also in spite of the fact that those Social Security benefits were unaffected by his earnings due to amendments made to the Social Security Act in 2000 [see Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106–182; 42 U.S.C. §§ 402–403 (2012)]. The Court acknowledged prior decisions in which the court had adopted the so-called Dickens exception, which held that the offset’s purpose was to prevent duplicative wage-loss benefits and that where workers’ compensation were not duplicative, such as where the injured worker’s wages were in addition to social security benefits already being received, the offset should not apply. Under the clear wording of the statute, Dickens and its progeny were overruled.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.
See Hoesli v. Triplett, Inc., 2015 Kan. LEXIS 931 (Nov. 20, 2015) [2015 Kan. LEXIS 931 (Nov. 20, 2015)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 157.03 [157.03]
For a more detailed discussion of the case, see http://www.workcompwriter.com/amendments-to-social-security-act-in–2000-do-not-trump-kansas-offset-statute/
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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