Offset (workers' compensation)

Discussion in 'Legal Terminology' started by Songbird17, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Songbird17 Senior Member

    This is a subheading in a document and the word is also used a number of times there and in a release that goes along with the document.

    "Present worth and possible OFFSET for social security disability benefits considered."

    The word "offset" is also used in the following portion under that subheading:

    "Consideration was also given to the possible loss of supplemental benefits due un F.S.440.15(e) and to the right of the Social Security Administration to OFFSET disability benefits due under that Law the Workers' Compensation benefits payable under state law."

    Here is MY rendering of it: Valor actual y posible ALOCACIÓN/ASIGNACIÓN para beneficios del seguro social por discapacidad tomado en cuenta

    I have looked EVERYWHERE for this term, but haven't found a thing. Can someone lend me a hand with this one because it is mentioned a number of times beyond the subheading as I posted in the example? I would appreciate any help. Thank you!
  2. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    The word "offset" when used as a noun in this context means "either of two equivalent items on the two sides of an account." When used as a verb, which is what you have in your example, it means "to place over against or to balance."

    Let me give you an example. Manufacturer sells to customer 100 boxes of widgets @ $10 each box. Customer owes $1000. One box of widgets is defective and customer returns them to manufacturer. Customer is entitled to offset the $10 credit against the $1000 obligation, resulting in a net $990 amount owing to the manufacturer.

    A bank would offset items of deposit against withdrawals.

    So it looks like the SSA can reduce the amount it has to pay a disabled claimant by the amount of benefits he can collect for worker's compensation.

    A claimant is entitled to, say, $1,000 per month from the SSA, but the law (I assume based on what you wrote) says that the SSA can reduce the payment by the amount that the claimant is entitled to collect from worker's compensation. Thus, the SSA can place the amount of the worker's comp benefit against the amount of its obligation to pay disability benefits, strike a balance, and pay the net amount.

    There is, by the way, a similar concept in law called "set-off," which is a term of art and is not important for this explanation. As lawyers, we might say that, technically speaking, the SSA can set off the amount (rather than offset the amount), but that is not important for your translation, which uses the term "offset."
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  3. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
  4. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    I wish I had thought to check the WR dictionary! He (or she) needs a verb. Based on the Collins entry, I prefer contrapesar, but my Spanish is totally deficient in this area.

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