For many individuals grappling with workplace injuries, understanding the tax implications of the benefits they receive can add another layer of complexity. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable. However, like many rules, there are exceptions.
Breaking Down the Four Types of Compensation
To truly grasp the nuances of taxation in the realm of workers’ compensation, one needs to understand the different types of compensations available.
When an injured worker has to pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket and subsequently receives a reimbursement, this money is not taxable. Likewise, if an insurance company directly pays a healthcare provider for the injured worker’s treatment, the worker doesn’t get taxed.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Vocational rehabilitation involves various facets, including job searching, retraining, and working with a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC). Generally, any benefits an injured worker receives under this segment, be it expense reimbursements like job search mileage or other expenses, aren’t taxable.
Wage Loss Benefits
A significant relief for many is that wage loss benefits in the realm of workers’ compensation, whether they be temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, or permanent total disability, are typically not taxable. The rationale behind this is quite simple: these benefits compensate for two-thirds of a worker’s wage, serving as a replacement and not a supplemental income.
Permanent Total Disability and Social Security Overlaps
This is the area where things get a tad complex. Suppose an individual is receiving permanent total disability benefits and social security benefits simultaneously. In that case, there’s a possibility of social security offsetting (subtracting dollar for dollar) the workers’ compensation.
For instance, if social security owes a person $1200 a month but only pays $1000 due to the workers’ compensation the individual is receiving, social security could still tax the individual on the $200 they didn’t pay. This is a rare occurrence but essential to know.
When Workers’ Compensation Becomes Taxable
The aforementioned social security and permanent total disability overlap represents one of the rare instances where a tax situation emerges. But it’s vital to remember that even lump sum settlements, permanent partial disability payments, or weekly wage loss benefits from workers’ compensation aren’t typically taxed.
Explore More About What Taxes You Need to Pay on Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Navigating the labyrinth of taxes on workers’ compensation benefits can seem daunting. But armed with the right knowledge and understanding of the different types of compensation, you can easily decipher what’s taxable and what’s not.
While it’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional regarding your unique situation, understanding the general rules can offer clarity and peace of mind. Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to learn more about the taxes you’re required to pay on workers’ compensation benefits.