Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nebraska Supreme Court allows award for loss of earning power to injured truck driver who had previously received Social Security Disability Income benefits but returned to work under the Social Security Administration "Ticket to Work" program. Manchester v. Drivers Mgmt., S-09-062, 278 Neb. 776 Because Plaintiff had an earning power to lose, her receipt of Social Security benefits based on an earlier determination of total disability did not prevent her from recovering workers’ compensation benefits. ..the existence of the Social Security rehabilitative programs indicates that an individual once assessed by the Social Security Administration to be totally disabled is not expected to be forever unable to work. See 42 U.S.C. § 422 (2006).. Plaintiff participated in the "Ticket to Work" program and was working her way off Social Security disability. Because Plaintiff was able to resume gainful employment and had worked for Drivers Management for 13 months before the accident, the Social Security Administration’s determination that at one point in time she was totally disabled does not logically prevent her from later recovering workers’ compensation benefits for her loss of earning capacity due to a disability incurred in the course of her employment

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