According to the court, workers' comp benefits are merely intended to cover an employee’s “work life,” not the Centrum Silver years. Social Security should cover that, said the court.
Of course, insurers and businesses leapt for joy. The Montana Chamber of Commerce did a couple of back flips too.
But talk about apples and oranges…in a scathing dissent, Justice Brian Morris pointed out that “Social Security benefits are not the same as work-comp benefits, and therefore should not be a trigger for cutting off an injured worker’s benefits.…[W]orkers give up the right to sue for damages for on-the-job injuries, in exchange for the certainty of benefits. The state law cutting off work-comp benefits for disabled workers who qualify for Social Security ‘eviscerates’ that deal.”