SSDI payments can be reduced by other public disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits are an important resource for many seriously disabled Americans, as we like to point out on this blog. Still, for many disabled Americans, SSDI benefits are not the only benefits they receive. With the average monthly payments from SSDI being relatively low and in many cases inadequate as a stand-alone source of income, this only makes sense.

This being the case, it is important for those who apply for SSDI benefits to understand how other disability benefits can affect their SSDI payments. The first thing to say on this topic is that private disability benefits do not count against one’s Social Security disability payments. This includes private pension funds or private disability insurance. This is part of why it is so important for people to take the opportunity to obtain coverage for long-term disability. Doing so will not count against the receipt of Social Security disability payments, if one qualifies for them.

When it comes up public disability benefits, these can impact one’s SSDI payments, with some exceptions. Public benefits which do not count against SSDI benefits include Veterans Administration benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and state and local government benefits when Social Security taxes came out of the recipient’s earnings. Other public benefits can and do impact SSDI payments.           

The degree to which these other public benefits impact SSDI payments is the degree to which they, together with the SSDI payments, exceed 80 percent of one’s average earnings prior to disability. The amount exceeding that 80 percent is deducted from the SSDI payments. Those who are applying for SSDI should be aware of this and plan accordingly. Working with an experienced attorney can help one to have a better idea of exactly how much their SSDI payment will be reduced, and they will have assistance if anything needs to be corrected by the Social Security Administration.

Source: Social Security Administration, “How Workers’ Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits,” Accessed September 5, 2014.