Certain Disability Payments and Workers’ Compensation May Affect Your Social Security Benefits

" "Many people working nowadays have more than one job. This means they have several sources of income. It’s important to keep in mind that having multiple sources of income can sometimes affect your Social Security benefits; but, it depends on the source.

Disability payments from private sources, such as private pensions or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits, however, may reduce what you receive from Social Security. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker because of a job-related injury or illness. These benefits may be paid by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies, employers, or by insurance companies on behalf of employers.

Public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefits are those paid from a federal, state, or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related. Examples of these are civil service disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability.

Some public benefits don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, and one of the following types of public benefits, your Social Security benefits will not be reduced:

  • Veterans Administration benefits;
  • State and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings; or
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

You can read How Workers’ Compensation and Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits to find out about the possible ways your benefits might be reduced.

Please be sure to report changes. If there is a change in the amount of your other disability payment, or if those benefits stop, please notify us right away. Tell us if the amount of your workers’ compensation or public disability payment increases or decreases. Any change in the amount or frequency of these benefits is likely to affect the amount of your Social Security benefits.

An unexpected change in benefits can have unintended consequences. You can be better prepared if you’re informed and have financially prepared yourself. Visit our benefits planner for information about your options for securing your future.

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110 thoughts on “Certain Disability Payments and Workers’ Compensation May Affect Your Social Security Benefits

  1. I receive Va service connected disability at 100% and SSD. I am also receiving Work mans Compensation.
    For a injury at work. I did not receive my 100% Va benefits till after my injury as well as my SSD. Workman Comp now wants to settle with Lump Sum. Will this effect my SSD benefits. I am 54 years old.

    • Hi James. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online application. You can apply even if you’re receiving long-term disability from your employer.

      Applying online for disability benefits offers several advantages:
      • You can start your disability claim immediately. There is no need to wait for an appointment.
      • You can apply from the convenience of your home, or on any computer; and
      • You can avoid trips to a Social Security office, saving you time and money.

      If you are unable to file online, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make an appointment or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal.

      For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability.

    • Hi Fred, thank you for your question. Social Security has special rules that make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments. These are called work incentives.

      For SSDI beneficiaries, there is a Trial Work Period (TWP) and then an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. During this period, you will receive your full disability benefit regardless of how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2020, any month in which earnings exceed $910 is considered a month of the 9-month trial work period.

      Once you’ve completed your TWP, you get a 36-month safety net called the EPE. During the EPE, you get benefits for all months your earnings or work activities are below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment. Social Security will suspend cash benefits for months earnings are over SGA and start benefits again if earnings fall below the SGA level. In 2020, you are earning SGA if your earnings, after any allowable deductions, are more than $1,260 in a month.

      Check out Social Security’s Red Book for descriptions of the many work incentives.

  2. Isn’t there a specific inquiry form that the SS Office sends to the work comp insurance carrier for that benefit information or change of benefit information? I know there used to be. What is the form name?

  3. My boyfriend has been on disability from his work for about 20 years and they pay him out of an investment fund, what happens when he gets to 67 years old? And out of the money they send him the company only takes out federal and state taxes, no social security at all.

  4. I am on SSI because I am permanently disabled. My disability will end 09/20. I will turn 65 that month. Does my SSI automatic turn over to regular SS at that point? Will the amount of SSI be the same as the SS? Thank you.

  5. I’m on permanent social security disability and I don’t file taxes and I haven’t received one stimulus ck can you tell me why I make below proverty and also can’t food stamps please help

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