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How can public benefits impact my SSDI payments?

Many of those who receive disability benefits through the Social Security disability program also receive other forms of government benefits. Before applying for SSDI, it is important to understand how receipt of other benefits can affect SSDI payments.

Fortunately, disability payments from private sources don’t impact one’s receipt of Social Security disability benefits. Many public disability benefits, on the other hand, do. This means that workers ‘compensation, civil service disability benefits, and state or local benefits based on disability can all impact one’s SSDI benefits.Â

There are some exceptions to the rule about public benefits. For instance, veterans receiving benefits through the Veterans Administration don’t have to worry about those benefits impacting their receipt of SSDI. Supplemental Security, a program which provides funds to low-income individuals with disabilities, doesn’t impact SSDI benefits either. Even state and local government benefits don’t always impact SSDI if those taxes were deducted from one’s earnings.

Exactly how much one’s SSDI can be reduced is fairly simple. If the total amount of workers’ compensation, public disability benefits and Social Security benefits—including benefits for family members—surpasses 80 percent of one’s average current earnings, the extra amount is deducted from one’s Social Security benefit. The exact calculation of one’s current earnings depends on one’s circumstances, so there is no single formula.

It is important for those who apply for Social Security disability benefits to work with an experienced attorney when submitting a claim. Doing so ensures that any mistakes by the Social Security Administration will be caught and that one’s rights and interests will be advocated, particularly in the event of an appeal.

Source: Social Security Administration, “How Workers’ Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits,” Accessed September 4, 2014.Â

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