Will Receipt of Public Benefits Reduce My Disability Benefits?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Disability benefits may not be the only benefits you are receiving or will receive at any given point in time. There are a variety of other benefits you may qualify to receive for a number of different reasons. It can be complicated to keep track of all of these benefits, the limitations they may have on them, and how the receipt of one set of benefits may impact the receipt of other benefits. You may be particularly concerned with whether other benefits will impact the receipt of your disability benefits, such as reducing the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive. Let’s take a closer look at the potential impact receiving public benefits may have on your disability benefits.

Will Receipt of Public Benefits Reduce My Disability Benefits?

Depending on the circumstances, a disabled person may qualify for a number of different public benefits. The disabled individual may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits administered by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies that pay injured workers compensation on behalf of their employer for work-related injuries or illnesses. Additionally, the disabled individual may be entitled to different types of public disability benefits payment pursuant to local, state, or federal law. Public benefits may include:

  • Civil service disability benefits
  • Temporary state disability benefits
  • State government retirement benefits (based on disability)
  • Local government retirement benefits (based on disability)
  • Veterans Administration benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

It should be noted that receiving disability benefit payments from private sources, like insurance benefits, will not impact your Social Security disability benefits. Furthermore, some public benefits will not impact your Social Security disability benefits, such as Veterans Administration benefits and Supplemental Security Income, but others will. For instance, the SSA will reduce your Social Security benefits payment if your workers’ compensation payment plus any public disability payment totals an amount exceeding 80 percent of the earnings you averaged prior to becoming injured or ill. The amount exceeding the 80 percent of your averaged earnings will be deducted from your Social Security benefit. This reduction will continue until you reach full retirement age or your other benefits come to a stop, whichever comes first.

It is important to report any changes in the receipt of other benefits that do or will impact your Social Security disability payments. Report these changes to the Social Security Administration (SSA), regardless of whether your other benefits are increasing or decreasing. The increase or decrease in other public benefits received is likely to impact the amount of Social Security disability benefits you qualify to receive. Additionally, please note that your Social Security benefits are likely to be impacted regardless of whether you are receiving a lump-sum public benefit payout or a monthly benefit.

Los Angeles Disability Attorney

Social Security disability benefits are complicated enough on their own. Add other public benefits into the mix and things may feel downright chaotic. Find comfort knowing that the Disability Advocates team is here for you. We are here to answer your questions, provide you with guidance as needed, and help ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.