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Social Security offset stands in N.Y. comp case


NEW YORK--Workers compensation law calls for an offset in death benefits when a deceased employee's spouse is receiving Social Security survivor's payments, a New York appeals court has ruled.

In Di Gregorio vs. Coca Cola Bottling Co., New York's 3rd Judicial Department of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division upheld a New York State Workers' Compensation Board finding stemming from the 1997 work-related death of Ms. Gregorio's husband.

In February 2003, a workers compensation judge awarded Ms. Gregorio $98.78 in weekly benefits. That amount represented a Social Security offset of $138.69. In 2005, however, another workers compensation judge modified her award to $237.47 per week, essentially removing the offset.

Coca Cola appealed, and the board overturned the judge's 2005 decision. The board found that an offset should apply during a certain time period that Ms. Gregorio was entitled to workers compensation and Social Security survivor benefits, court records show.

Ms. Gregorio then appealed, but the appeals court on Thursday denied her arguments that the board was wrong in applying an offset to any portion of her workers comp award. The appeals court sent the case to the state workers comp board for further proceedings.