Kent County Circuit Court; Docket No. 8340266-CK; Unpublished
Judge Robert A. Benson; Written Opinion
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
Social Security Disability and Death Benefits
This written Opinion by Judge Robert Benson of the Kent County Circuit Court dealt with the setoff of social security disability benefits from uncoordinated no-fault wage benefits where such social security benefits are also being setoff against other collateral wage loss disability benefits received by plaintiff. The plaintiff in this case was a teacher for the Grand Rapids Public School System. She was injured in an automobile accident on her way to supervise a school concert Defendant DAIIE paid no-fault wage-loss benefits pursuant to an uncoordinated no-fault policy. Plaintiff’s employer, the Grand Rapids Board of Education, paid disability benefits under a collective bargaining agreement for the same period. Both contracts provided for a setoff of any social security benefits received by plaintiff. The plaintiff subsequently received an award of social security disability benefits in the amount of $5,499.15, after attorney fees, for a closed period. Defendant DAIIE and the school board both attempted to offset the social security award from their respective benefits. Therefore, plaintiff stood to loose $10,998.30 in total benefits by recovering $5,499.15 in social security benefits.
Judge Benson refused to allow the double offset He based his decision on the case of Farm Bureau Insurance v Horace Mann Insurance, 131 Mich App 98 (1983) and Federal Kemper v Health Insurance Administration (item number 738). Pursuant to those decisions, Judge Benson held that each defendant was entitled to one-half of the social security offset.